Monday, 11 May 2015

first few days on the trail!

They lied!

Sun they said, heat they said, snow maybe in the Sierra mountains they said. Nights will be cold, of course, due to the extreme heat and water will be a major concern.

Ahhhh ha ... Well of course that was true until 2015 ... The year of 'freak', shocking' and 'never before' weather! Nonetheless, day 1 was uneventful, hot sun and perfect conditions - so I settled by the trail to start the afternoon snooze between 2-5 the hottest part of the day (so they said)  ... Except as soon as I got my sleeping mat out .. what happened? Yep ... clouds came rolling in and I had to get my sleeping bag out!

07/05/15 perfect walking conditions - warm, overcast with a nice cool breeze..... Well until the evening .... Wind, snow!!!!! Yep, snow!!!! Now this I was prepared for ... ish... With my two pairs of gloves and thermals .... But darn it .... changing into thermals on the side of a cold and windy mountain ... No thanks!

08/05/03 after a very cold night in my uber waterproof bivvi!!?!! I managed to get to mount laguna and met up with fellow hikers that had spent the night at the bar. First point of call was to have a coffee and huge egg pancake - US size 😀 ... So good. At this point, we were grounded due to the snow storm... So it was time to dekit and make my 60lb pack lighter. So armed with the wise man from the north , visa and a mind set of 'ultra light' it gave me time to empty my pack and send the contents back to the uk and buy ultra light. Every pound counts ... Especially when having to carry 10 days of food and 6litres of water!!! .

09/05/15 and back to the trail with a much lighter pack ... 40lb not 60lb ... Somehow there was reflection of life here. Starting out with a tonne of baggage - handed over, collected and built up over time but here, on the trail, living in the moment, responsible for no one ... There is no need.

10/05/15 Doh!  lost in the desert. Met some bikers who gave me water. A couple of miles later ... With my thumb out, a family picked me up and drove me to Julian. True angels. So before the hitch hike back out to the trail head by another trail angel - wrong way... I was able to have an apple pie and refill my water.
Ok, so there is more to tell here ... But will save that for another day .... But needless to say, there was  a breathtaking and sudden switch from 'happily skipping along' to 'survival mode'.... 

11/5/15 back into the hills ...

What an amazing room with a view... Perfect to wake up to 😀 ... 

Lemonade /John was an amazing guy - 

Day 7 :

13/5/15 big day today - 26 miles. Determined to make it as close to paradise cafe as I need to collect my new tent (that should be waterproof!).

14/5/15Made it to paradise cafe. Met Carole - scottish lady - who had and gave a couple of british tea bags! So wonderful and amazing how something that is taken for granted in the real world, means so much on the trail especially when the expected waterproof tent hadn't been delivered due to one digit being missed in the translation. They were perfect strangers but so kind in every way - here I was, a stranger in a cafe in the middle of nowhere, stinking after walking many miles for many days without a shower and they offer a lift, bed, food and a washing machine. Now that is super lovely and kind - now would that happen in the Uk?

16/05/15 grounded at Idyllwild and a 0 day so no miles today- yep! Its that snow again! Only the second time that it has been recorded!! (Although i was secretly very pleased to have a shower and bed for the night!)

17/05/15 up devils staircase in snow then back down - tough - slipping and sliding in the snow and slush.

18/05/15 back in the sun. Then it was my first rattle snake in the pathway. Luckily, no fear-man/ incredible hulk came by and literally chucked rocks and kept it at bay so that i could walk on by. Stayed in ziggy and the bear- trail angels for the night.

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