Day 12
Miles: 12ish?
From mile 160, oak grove campsite, to Idyllwild

The evening air was calm and buttery when we set up our tarp last night.  – We were deceived. – The breeze started shortly after bed and accelerated from there.

I had an inkling there was going to be trouble early in the night when J woke me up. Apparently he had a millipede on his face and he was making a ruckus about it. The winds were really picking up but I just went back to sleep.

Then the gusts started. In the middle of the night J and I ended up re-staking the entire tarp. We should probably stake the tarp like there’s going to be a windstorm every time – there usually is.

After fixing the tarp I’m sleeping easy. I pretend it’s not getting light out until Buckeye tells us to get up. “It’s not so bad out here, c’mon.”

And it isn’t. We pack up (a little faster every day) and head out.

It only takes a minute to turn the corner onto the ridge and get swept off our feet. Looks like our campsite was sheltered after all. The views are huge to the east, and Buckeye romps around in the wind, getting his perfect shots. The wind is to much for me this morning. I’m ready to be in Idyllwild and off my feet.

It takes us a long time. From the ridge we go down the switchbacks, down the road, down the fire road, and finally, finally! pop out on highway 74. We had planned on walking another three miles to Lake Hemet before trying to hitch, but I’m plumb out of gas. We put our thumbs out and in 5 minutes we’re cruising to Idyllwild. That was so much easier than I’d imagined.

Idyllwild is swarming with hikers. J and I join Buckeye and Jin in sharing a cabin with Promise, ET, and Latestart. I take two showers, just because I can. It’s strange to see my entire body. I sometimes forget it’s there – my body image has been reduced to a pair of giant, inflamed feet. There are other bits attached but they aren’t important. My feet are my connection to the earth, to the world, but they are also the weak link in this whole endeavor.

It turns out I still have arms and a back and earlobes too. I look a bit sunburned, but the same. No calves of steel yet. Tomorrow, chores.




You shall not pass!

Our merry band

Photo by J.

Phone reception!

P.s. get Buckeye’s take on things at


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