May 13th
Whitewater Preserve(218.6)-North of Creekside Camp(236)
Today’s Mileage: 17.4mi

As promised, we slept in this morning. The trail angel who made us dinner last night also made us all eggs and chocolate chip pancakes. Thanks Buck-30! It was a great way to start off the day and we were hiking by 8am.

All of us see Big Bear(our next trail town) on the horizon. It is 47mi away, but there is a lot of elevation between here and there. Top Shelf and I decided to take our time and make it in 2.5 days. There is supposed to be rough weather moving in there on the third day, so we are hoping to dodge it.

As for today, nothing too eventful. I was still nauseous in the morning and it wore off as the day went on, but I’m just not super hungry. We are happy to have caught up with a group of hikers, so we have been playing leap frog with more hikers the past two days. We’ve been seeing Blister, B-Hope, Kylie, Annie, Whiz, Beacon, Boat Drink, the Punisher, Dave, and Pellet.

Most of the day was spent in a canyon walking up the Whitewater River. We crossed the river a dozen or so times and it was good practice for the more challenging ones in our future. I was happy to get across all of them without getting my feet wet. It was hot, but not as miserable as yesterday. It was pretty annoying to be by water all day and be so hot and thirsty. I kept dunking my bandana and putting it under my hat and that was nice. At one point I dunked my long sleeved shirt and put it back on and that was great!

Today’s hike was a gradual uphill, which was nice, but with the conditions the last couple days, everyone was dragging. All of us did less milage than we planned in the morning, but I’m okay with it because it really has been a rough couple of days and it’s good to know we aren’t the only ones feeling it. At 2pm, the unthinkable happened…the clouds rolled in and it was overcast the rest of the afternoon! The plan was to stop at 4pm and have an early dinner before doing another 4mi up the steepest part of the day to a campsite. We ate with Beacon who had the same plan. The guys went ahead of me and I told them I’d meet them at the campsite. I was moving slow on a stomach full of Mac & Cheese with tuna. I got a mile up and Top Shelf was sitting in a prime camping spot too good to pass up. We decided to cut the day short and turn in early at 6pm. Later, we found out Beacon had decided the same thing and was right around the corner from us. Also today, Top Shelf walked up on his 5th rattlesnake(which I have yet to do) and Kylie saw a bear. The first bear sighting!

On a side note, I’m happy to report that since Idyllwild, my feet seem to have adjusted to hiking. I’m not having heat rashes and I haven’t had to do much blister maintenance. Hopefully, that will continue!

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