We decided to take a zero in Idyllwild in order to resupply and rest our feet and ankles. What we mostly did, however, was eat: we started with a lunch at a vegan restaurant as soon as we got to town on day 12 (Monday), then continued with a dinner of hummus, garlic dip and 2 bags of chips plus some fruits and then started day 13 with a coffee, a sandwich and a bag of chips in a cafe and then, once the vegan restaurant was opened, went for breakfast number two and smoothies and coffee and cakes. And then my stomach started to hurt so I couldn’t eat any more but Kristians still did.
After doing our resupply run we went to the cinema in the evening at 7. Another hiker had arranged that we should all meet up there but we ended up only being 5 people – the organizer himself didn’t even show up! It was a really strange feeling to go to a real American cinema – it’s exactly as you’ve seen in movies. There was a big lobby with ticket office and toilet and two entrances into the one movie hall. The hall was big, felt empty and cold (there were blankets that you could use, though) and the seats were old, with springs even! The advertisements of local businesses in the start were as if a 15-year old had made them in Word and the picture change kept lagging and getting pixelated. We were even worried that if they can’t show some advertisements then how will the movie run?
But the movie was awesome – we watched Steven Spielberg’s new movie called Ready Player One. It talks of the year 2045 when everyone plays this virtual online game called Oasis and noone really has real lives any more. I really enjoyed this movie.
Then we hiked back to the campsite and went to sleep – a big day was ahead.
Today was a big ascent day. We woke at 6:30, ate and packed and left the campsite at 8:00 with Aziz (aka Ramen Shaman) and the Team Seattle (aka Lee and Full Sail)- I believe Kristians wrote about them earlier.
First we had to get out of town to get to the trailhead but this was a hike on it’s own: 3.1 miles or 5km of steep uphill on asphalt. Then a steep dirt road continued for some miles until we finally hit the Southridge Trailhead at about 9:30. The trail itself was instantly much better – nice switchbacks and smooth rise in elevation. The environment kept changing to more and more alpine, but due to the elevation the temperature stayed nice and cool during the whole day.
With a couple of smaller breaks we climbed up to the Ranger hut on top of Tahquitz peak at 2679m and had our lunch there. We also met up with Bible, who had just arrived about 10 minutes before.
After the lunch we continued our hike with the six of us now, continued up to the PCT (to the point right after the fire closure) and over the Saddle Junction and climbed towards the San Jacinto peak trail junction. The views along the trail were just insane throughout the day – there was haze in the valley but you could still see pretty far, even the snowcapped peak of Mt Baden Powell. There was also quite a lot of snow over the path today but it is clear that it will all be melted very soon.
As we had decided to do our summit attempt the next morning we just kept hiking on the PCT until we got to the opposite end of the peak trail, at the Deer Spring.
We set up camp right by the stream, cooked our meals and had a nice warm fire going. We discussed the next day’s plans – the ascent and the following 20-mile waterless stretch. Then we discussed different methods of massaging our tired muscles. Kristians and Lee even decided to make pine needle tea – it turns out that it’s pretty good but is definitely a single brew tea.