Friday, April 18, 2014

Day 10. Hiking before dawn

136 to 152

In the hour before dawn, the birds begin to call and the air is cool. This is my favorite time to start hiking. This morning hiking by headlamp, I saw bright eyes staring back at me. It looked like a nighthawk or a small owl. What a beauty!

I watch the sky begin to get light, then the first rays of sun hit the highest mountains.  Scents and sounds seem more vivid in the dim light.
I was talking to another hiker and he was saying he likes to night hike in the evenings for similar reasons. I'm a morning person though and wake up all excited to start the day even without setting an alarm.  I like hiking by myself in the mornings especially but then meet up later with everyone.
More flowers.
There was weather this morning!  A few dark clouds.  When I felt the first drop I thought it was a bird had pooped on me.  But then there was another drop of rain and the unmistakable smell of rain in the desert.  I was so excited I really wanted to pull out my raincoat that has been buried at the bottom of my pack, totally unused.  But then it was over.  Overall there were about five drops of rain total that I felt.
Green valley.
Later talking to Pathfinder and Susan, they thought I was seeing things.  They hadn't felt any rain where they were.  I asked around all day until finally Stampeed said he felt it too.  So it wasn't just a mirage.


We hiked about 16 miles to the Paradise Cafe where we had an incredible second lunch (Mmm taco salad with guacamole).  Then we crossed the street to try our luck at getting a hitch for the 17 miles into Idyllwild.  Well, I was so thrilled because the very first car that came by stopped for us (and it was a BMW)! We had a delightful ride with Marcie who told great stories and told us about the area.  Thank you so much for the ride Marcie!

Staying at the Knotty Pine Cabins(with a kitchen) in Idyllwild for a zero day tomorrow.  Picked up fresh fruit, eggs, and ice cream from the store.  And did laundry for the first time wearing nothing but my rain gear (so I could wash everything).  What fun!
Wearing my raingear at the laundrymat.


  1. Joan, It is such a treat to read your blog and witness your wonderful enthusiasm. May you continue to enjoy wonderful trail health and happiness.
    Gerry Brucia
    Ruston, Louisiana

  2. I'm with you on those early morning jaunts. Loving your blog postings!

  3. I never imagined it'd be so easy to wake up at 4 AM, but it's so worth it. It's neat to see how much darker it is now that the moon is waning- more stars visable though.