Day 16: More Uphill, Less Hot, and Slackpacking to Big Bear

Before I get going here, let me just say today was a great day.

First, I woke up in a delightful campsite next to a softly flowing creek and it was already past 7:30am. That means I was in my bag for roughly 11 hours after a long day of hot uphill hiking. I have been hiking and camping with a core group of me and two other people for the last two days. The other two are a guy from San Diego going by Offtrail and a woman from Colorado named Cindy. I spent the majority of my time hiking with Cindy as she usually leaves camp before me and then I catch up with her sometime before lunch and we sort of just cruise together the rest of the day. That’s really how the last two days have gone.

Today was not much different from the start, she left maybe 20 minutes before I did, then I caught up with her just before the spring that we were refilling our water at 5 miles down the trail. We ate lunch together there, changes our socks after stepping in the mud near the spring and then headed up the trail again. Not even a mile after lunch did we run into Cindy’s husband, Mel. He has been following along with Cindy in his truck and has even earned the trail name “Pop up” as he just seems to pop up when a hiker needs a drink or a ride. We hiked another 5 miles with him, after Cindy dropped some extra water weight now that she knew she had Mel’s truck supply in 5 miles.

When we reached the truck we left our packs there and “slackpacked” the next 5 miles to mile 250 where Mel met us again and drove us into Big Bear Lake. At Big Bear Lake we found a nice little hotel to crash in, cleaned ourselves up and even met up with Pie and Ice Cream who are still about 2 days ahead of us but are close enough to drop into town here. Ice Cream’s parents drove up tonight as well and we all ate dinner at the Teddy Bear Restaurant. I had a burrito, I had been wanting one since my last one in Idyllwild.

Pie, Ice Cream and me back together
Pie, Ice Cream and me back together
Ann (taking photo), Steve, Mel, Cindy, Ice Cream, me and Pie
Ann (taking photo), Steve, Mel, Cindy, Ice Cream, me and Pie

In the morning, Cindy and Mel will scoop me up and we will go to the Big Bear City post office so Cindy can get her new shoe shipment. She is ever so looking forward to these new shoes as her current runners are already breaking down. Then we will head from the post office out to Mike 250 where we left off and carry minimal weight (slackpack) from there to mile 266 where Mel will grab us and bring us into town again.

Marissa, my wife, will come up after she gets off work and stay the weekend as I will take a zero day on Saturday to spend with her. I am very much looking forward to that. I could t ask for anything more for my birthday than to see her (sorry, and Buster too, but he can’t read so not really sure why I am apologizing here). Anyway, it’s off to bed for me with 16 miles on the horizon and an actual bed in my very near (literally right now) future.

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