Today marks two weeks on the trail and the trek so far has seemed a whirlwind of time as so much has already happened in the first 300 miles.
The weather during the hike was another typical desert day, which in my opinion is a good thing. I began my day’s hike at 6 am, and within the first hour, had already slipped while crossing a stream and gotten my shoes soaked. Soon after, I stopped to let them dry out a little, they are starting to stink (my shoes-not my feet).
Early in the morning, I hiked past a hot spring, which was a clothing optional area, and chose not to stop. I was surprised that even early in the day, there were people stopping and taking the option not to wear clothes.
I took a long lunch break out of the sun. It felt great to sit in the shade, relax, and just enjoy the breeze. After noon there were some clouds to help give a brief reprieve from the heat.
I had hiked out of the valley up through some mountains and then back down again. As I was about to cross a road, a man waved me over and offered me a sack lunch. It appeared to be a school lunch of some sort. I was grateful, and as we were talking, a German named Andy hiked up and he got a lunch too. We sat together in some shade and ate. Andy had started out on the trail May 6th and had gotten stuck in Idyllwild for an entire week due to weather. Sounds like Idyllwild is a common place to get ‘stuck’. They say if you are trying to make time on the trail, to be careful of towns as many find reasons to extend their stay.
The last section of the day was around Lake Silverwood. Here, I saw two snakes within 10 minutes of each other. One was a baby rattlesnake. Both snakes did not seem to care enough to move off the trail and so I had to throw some small rocks near them (not at the snakes) to get them to move along. I have seen quite a few snakes already while hiking through the desert.
Towards the end of the day, I stopped to take a break off the trail at a day use area on the edge of the lake. Here, I ran into Andy and a few other hikers. One of the other hikers recognized me from the Appalachian Trail two years ago! He had hiked the AT in 2017 as well. It is pretty neat to be able to see people again who shared part in earlier adventures.
I had seen a sign for a hike/bike campsite for the state park and hiked up the road to it. Similar to the other state parks I have stayed at so far, each cost 5 dollars and have a special area for PCT hikers. Tonight however, I was the only one at the camp site.