Miles: 256.6 to 275.1
The early morning air was cold. I spent the first part of the night tossing and turning because my aching feet kept me awake. I took some ibuprofen, my first medication on the trail, and was able to sleep.
We packed up slowly because we stopped to collect water before leaving camp. The water was frigid and our hands had to be shoved in our armpits before we could finish packing and start moving.
It was ten miles to the first road crossing where could have managed a hitch into town, but we decided to put in nine more miles and get a ride from a very generous trail angel from a less popular road called Van Dusen Canyon Road.
The first part of the day went quickly enough although I was in a funk. I attribute it to the looming pain I knew would eventually reappear in my feet. With every step I was scared the pain would show. And my mood was fragile because of it. Poor Richard.
It warmed up quickly once we got moving, and the terrain was fairly calm. We made good time as long as the trail followed contour lines around the hills.
We stopped to put on sunscreen and call a couple hotels in town in preparation for our zero day. A zero day is a day on trail when no forward miles are covered.
Earlier in the week, when Richard’s virus was still keeping him up at night, we decided to put in a few more miles each day and take a whole day off in Big Bear. Our original plan was to hike a few miles the day we headed down to town; also called a nearo.
After making arrangements for a hotel and a ride into town, we headed up the trail for the last nine miles of the day. These were hot miles and they felt steeper for it. We only climbed for three or four miles, but once we were at the top, my feet were screaming again. That made the downhill to our pick-up location seem endless. Richard was also in pain because of his blisters.
We finally made it to the road. We sat in the shade, ate snacks and waited for our ride from trail angel, Papa Smurf.
We were checked into the hotel, showered and walking to dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant by 6:30. We stuffed ourselves with nachos, burritoes, tacos and enchiladas. It was delicious! I even got a 20-ounce glass of milk!
Soon after eating, we were asleep.