Friday, April 25, 2014

Day 17. Back to Big Bear City

251 to 266

First thing in the morning, I climbed to the high ridge to check the latest forecast. There was even more snow predicted now- 3 inches in town, and more up at higher elevations. I sniffed the air and glanced at the sky and felt the bite of cold breezes even through my rain pants and down coat.
Climbing to the ridge.
I met The Fellowship at Arrastre Spring.  They told me they were heading into Big Bear City.  I said I was considering staying in the mountains and riding out the storm.  "Why would you want to stay out in a snow storm? You'd be out here alone, everyone is going to town."
Getting water at the spring.
I filled up my water containers (after a 16 mile water carry) and considered my options.  I decided to go to town at the next road crossing at mile 266- I want to be safe.

The hike was gorgeous through forest (yay trees!) and along a stream (yay water!).
Big trees in SoCal.  Who says there's no trees in the "desert"?
As the trail descended I saw Joshua Trees for the first time- how cool!
First Joshua trees
At the road crossing, I waited an hour to see if any hikers would hitch to town with me.  I was scared to hitch by myself but I wanted to get to town before the snow.  Since I was scared I wasn't thinking too clearly.  It was only 4 miles to town so I decided to walk the road- big mistake!  It was narrow and windy with no shoulder and big trucks zoomed by.  The wind gusts were so strong I couldn't hear traffic and I could not walk upright I kept being blown around. Walking that road was by far the most dangerous and horribly terrifying and stupid thing I've done out here.  Thankfully a few PCT hikers picked me up- they were on their way to get Ninja Tank and go to kickoff.  Thanks guys!  Lesson learned for me.  Next time I'm hitching from the road crossing even if I am alone.

In town, I joined Pathfinder at the Motel 6 to wait out the snow storm.  Lots of hiker friends were there including Jordi!  George, Pathfinder, Susan/Blue Yonder (another Susan we just met) and I all walked to dinner under a very cloudy sky and cold windy air. I'm so glad I played it safe even though I really prefer being out in my hammock.  Guess we will see what happens tomorrow but hope to be back out there soon.
Pathfinder, George, and Blue Yonder in Big Bear City.


  1. So many decisions to make, hard to make the right ones. Sounds like in this case you made the right one to get off trail and maybe the not so right about the road walk. I would have done exactly the same in both cases. I'm nervous about hitching solo also.

    1. There are some tough calls. I like to think of them as learning experiences. It's amazing how things always seem to work out in the end.