Day 19: 4/27/14, PCT Mile 277.7

Enjoying the beginning of our first slack pack on the PCT! I love benches, especially ones with a great view.
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Miles hiked: 13.7 (11.7 on the PCT, 2 on the Cougar Creek Trail)
Camped at: n/a, slack-packed today! At the Motel 6 in Big Bear City

Ahhh, the wonder of slack-packing. For those not in the know, this is when I day hike and don’t carry all of my gear with me, but still get some miles in. I actually carried a lot of my gear today – I really just left the bulk of my food and a few misc items in the motel room. Since I haven’t hiked since last Wednesday, I wanted to give myself an easier day but still test how well I really am, in a more limited mileage situation.

Steady, a fellow hiker and triple crowner hiking parts of the PCT again this year, whom I met briefly on Friday, has her husband Steve traveling by Suburban in a support capacity. Steve is a wonderful trail angel and has been giving rides to many other hikers and helping us out in addition to Steady. Blue Yonder asked if the 3 of us could have a ride to the Cougar Creek trailhead (the side trail that would take us up to the PCT), and Steve said sure! We even had time for breakfast at Lumberjack’s. On a side note, you know you’ve been in a trail town for too long when you don’t need to look at the menu of a place any longer.

We hit the side trail at around 10:30 am, and after a lovely hike with outstanding views of Big Bear Lake and the still snowy mountains, we rejoined the PCT. We hiked southbound, seeing oodles of day hikers, cyclists (which technically aren’t allowed on the PCT), and other thrus getting back on the trail after the storm and/or Kickoff. We must have seen over 30 people, and it was neat to chat and meet or catch up – felt like a wonderful reunion especially if we hadn’t seen them in town. I have to admit, though, it’ll be nice to be inbetween the large groups that left town today and anticipated tomorrow

For the most part I felt quite good today – still some residual queasiness at times, but overall my appetite was quite good. My legs and feet felt strong, and except for the last mile or so I didn’t feel overly tired. I did have a headache for a while, but think it was sinus-related. A nice, though also somewhat annoying, side effect of the antibiotics is that symptoms from my seasonal allergies, always bad at this time of year, are being dealt with as well. Luckily, Blue Yonder gave me some cough drops yesterday, very fortuitous with the hacking cough that always seems to be at the end of allergy season for me.

We finished the day with a wonderful dinner at Sizzler’s with Steady and Steve, who were so nice to treat the 3 of us, after picking us up at the Hwy 18 road crossing. Thank you Steady & Steve, it’s been so wonderful to get to know you both!!

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