Day 10 – agony to Idyllwild or 51 grams to zero

May 3rd
Miles: 134.2 to 151.7

I don’t know how to start talking about today.

“It sucked” is probably my best opener. My feet and legs have been hurting to the point I kind of hobble down the path. This makes it so that when I am passing these amazing views I am not thinking of the views, I am thinking of pain. Pain and pain and pain.

“I should have stayed the night in Warner Springs” I chastise myself.

Walking along I am making up new curse words. I am thinking about what the PCT could stand for, “Pain Control Trail”, “Pain Cramps and Tremors” etc. I was miserable plodding along. I thought of the saying on the PCT that the ” trail provides” and I get mad, I am being driven by the thought of a zero day in a real town. Then I see a sign “pct hiker sodas and hiker box” it has an arrow pointing down the hill. I look down and there is English Matt and some other hikers sitting at a picnic table. I go down get a soda and take my pack off and drink it. It is a generic brand soda called “Dr. Thunder”  but tastes glorious. I look at the back of the can and it says it has 51 grams of “sugars” in it.

“I need that!”, I exclaim.

That soda brought my day around. I had the energy to get over some climbs that would have been rough before. Trail magic is magic indeed.

We finally pushed through to the highway and got a ride right away from a nice local couple named Ben and Laura who are hikers. We skipped the cafe and went straight into Idyllwild.  There is a fire closure from where we were picked up to just outside Idyllwild because a whole mountain burned and destroyed that section of the PCT, 25 miles worth of it that I will not get to see unless I come back to hike it another year once it is rebuilt.

We get to the hotel and some Russian woman is telling us how “Hollywood” and “expensive” everything is. I get super annoyed by people who are enamored of money like that, it comes across as disgusting and ‘surface’ and I feel embarrassed for the person doing it. They, of course, try to charge Refills and myself $371.61 for two nights, apiece for rooms. My inner New Yorker, the one that knows Russians and business comes out and busts it down to $209 total, for both of us. I am okay with that part of who I am, but now they have my card number so I need to keep an eye on it.

Getting to the room I plug in my phone, explode my pack everywhere and sort of curl up on the bed in the fetal position. I cannot tell you how good a bed feels when you have been having issues sleeping on trail.

Speaking of, tomorrow I swap to Tyvek for a ground cloth (my polycro sheet is slippery and is getting holes) and I swap from my little inflatable I was trying to a foam pad, the zlite, which I originally planned to use. I wanted to try lighter options, but those options suck in the desert where everything is stabby.

After a shower, where it takes a long time to get clean, I go down to Jo’Annes in the middle of Idyllwild and get a burger and start in on some beers. Everything tasted perfect.


While out I bump into a whole cast of characters on the PCT and end up hanging out with Tom Figuroa and Crashtest at the pizza place, ran into Gweeno and many of the other hikers. I also end up hanging out with a bunch of rock climbers who are getting really drunk, they were cool.

About 11 pm (super late for a hiker) I go back to my motel and sleep soundly until 10am.

At about 11 pm I go back to my motel and sleep until 10am, it is much needed rest.

I will take pictures of this awesome little town tomorrow.

1 thought on “Day 10 – agony to Idyllwild or 51 grams to zero

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