Day 16 - Leaving Town Big Bear Blues - Uphillhike
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Day 16 – Leaving Town Big Bear Blues

Hiked 8.9 miles. At mile 275

Nice to be in a room with only 3 bunks. They must purposely put people together with something in common because I am bunking with a couple of guys closer to my age. I’m with Time Out and Gopher from England.

I took my time leaving the hostel in the morning. I repackaged and organized my food and gave away some that was more than I needed for 6 days. I think I must have shopped for groceries while under the spell of hiker hunger. My pack was really loaded down with food. I added enough water to get me to the first creek 9 miles out. Now the pack was really heavy

Backpacking the PCT is hard! So every day is not the best and I think I developed the blues today. It was the heavy pack and the 3 miles walking through town without being able to hitch a ride. I called Papa Smurf, but he was busy with other hikers. I went to the bus stop, but the bus did not arrive as scheduled. I tried Uber, but it was always searching for a ride. Finally, I hitched a ride into Big Bear City, Thanks Chad. I walked out Hwy 18 and was given a ride all of the way to the trail. Thanks again, I think it was Larry, but not sure of the name. He does radio voice such as announcements and has a beautiful dog.

By now it was 2 PM. The trail started a climb to 8000 feet. The trail was very rocky for the PCT. This was more painful for my little toe as my feet shifted back and forth over uneven rocks. Pus had been oozing out around the nail of that little toe just that morning.

My little toe’s nemesis, a rocky trail

Did I say heavy pack? My legs were very sore, probably as the result of sprinting 3 miles yesterday as proof that I could keep up with a very fit young German named Pusher who had a reputation for a fast pace. It was a trudge. I had to stop and rest several times. I checked Guthook to see how much farther. Some time after I topped out over 8000 feet things improved. The trail was less rocky. My toe was mostly numb. I had pushed through the leg soreness although my back began to get sore. I think about the recently sent 3D ultrasound image of my first grandchild to be. It is a pleasant thing to think about and makes me happy. With a couple of miles left I put on the headphones and listened to my Hiker Man playlist. “Everything’s gonna be alright” I suck on a wintergreen lifesaver and my mind drifts away from the pain and settles on the beauty around me.

I’m going to have the coldest weather yet. 

The photos today illustrate how much the views and landscape can change in a 9 mile hike. First a view of the desert, next a heavily burned fores, and finally large trees at high elevation.

Desert View

Burned Forest

Forested Mountains