Total Miles: 286.7
Happy Birthday Grandma!
The four of us rolled into the hostel at Big Bear Lake around 8:00 last night and quickly dashed off to a nearby restaurant for the $5 PCT thru-hiker special of breakfast-for-dinner: eggs, bacon, hashed browns, and biscuits & gravy. I wouldn't say my hiker appetite has fully kicked in, but it's certainly on its way. We were also thrilled to catch up with Beardoh and Sweet Pea who we hope to see on the trail the next few days and are at the hostel tonight after taking two days off in Big Bear.
After such an early start yesterday, 17 miles on trail, and hours of getting around the trail closure we were all pretty beat. With such a nice hostel, we decided to sleep in and head out in the morning at 7:00 to try and hitch a ride back to the trail. It took us only minutes to get our first hitch in the back of a pickup truck but they were only able to take us part of the way so we stuck our thumbs out one more time after being dropped off. XC tried to show a little leg to speed up the process, but to no avail.
Finally, we got our second hitch from a man who lived down the road and often picked up hikers during the height of the season. Hitchhiking may seem scary to everyone back home, but it's amazing how generous and caring perfect strangers can be. It never ceases to reinforce my fundamental belief in the basic and inherent goodness of people.
We were back on the trail by 8:30am, having missed a full 55 miles due to the trail closure, and meandered our way through sparse forests of pine and cedar, climbing above the north side of Big Bear Lake. Our path made an abrupt left hand turn today, as the PCT briefly heads toward the Pacific before turning back to the north.
It was a day of gentle, rolling terrain that made for easy miles even despite our late start. My shin is no longer swollen and this morning was the first day where flexing and extending my foot didn't cause the crazy shuddering vibration along my tibia. I took that as a positive sign, but it didn't save me from quite a bit of pain during certain parts of the day that left me a bit frustrated. This shin better get on board with the program and stop complaining right quick...