Day 12 - Idyllwild to Mesa wind farm
April 8 | Miles 190.7 - 207.7 + 7 mile Black Mountain Rd. detour
Back at it again. It’s really amazing to see the difference in the way you feel on a day you’re doing extreme exercise outside. Endorphins and Vitamin D are powerful drugs.
This morning the angelic Laurie shuttled me from the inn to the Black Mountain Road closure. JUST as we pulled up to the ROAD CLOSED signs, a highway maintenance guy pulled up in his pickup to offer me a ride past the blockade. Steve’s timing was perfect. We chatted about his cattle dogs, Pork Chop and Tater, and about how he and his daughter want to hike the PCT together someday.
We said our goodbyes, and then it was time to climb. 2000 feet of gain in the morning has a real way of waking you up.
The morning began with a healthy dose of snow, but it was a calm bluebird day.
Below the snow line, the trail switched down the mountains into a dry, dusty bowl. Views of San Gorgonio and San Jacinto competed for attention.
With my spirits high from getting off that mountain and having room in my shoes for all 10 of my toes, I barely even registered that temps were pushing 100°. Speaking of hundreds…
…I passed this milestone (literally, ha) on my way down.
The trail spat me out on a bizarre paved road in the middle of nowhere next to a drinking fountain and a rusty pipe hundreds of feet long. A guy drove past with a flashing red light on top of his car, hauling ass and throwing out a peace sign as he sped past with a Burger King bag in his other hand.
Passing the small community of Snow Creek, I was met by a lady dressed in bright pink Breast Cancer Awareness garb standing at the trunk of her white sedan. A glittery poster on the dash read PCT TRAIL MAGIC. I thanked Vera profusely before snagging a Coors Light and an apple for the road. She had a thorough array of first aid supplies on offer as well, but fortunately I wasn’t in need of those today.
As the sun fell in the sky my camping options were running out on the windy, treeless plain. I opted for shelter on a dry creekbed about a mile from the highway, situated under some buzzing power lines.
Luxury! The ghastly shrieking of the wind in concert with the noise of live electric current. Camping on a wind farm? Not one of my brighter ideas. I love falling asleep wondering whether my tent will make it through the night!