Day 14
Miles: 10
Idyllwild to San Jacinto peak

The sun us coming in the window but I ignore it. “Do we want to get up?” asks J.
   “I want to stay here foreeeeever,” I whine, and pull the covers over my head.
   “Well we can stay until 11:59,” he replies equably, then rolls over himself.

Around 9 I’m tired of feeling lazy so I get out of bed. I don’t feel ready for this. I’m glad I packed up last night. I call my mom one more time and then we head out. We haven’t even crossed the street when we run into ET. He’s been struggling with Achilles tendonitis for a while, and keeps talking about getting off trail to rest, but never does. Someone talked him into taking ibuprofen this morning and he’s feeling good. Looks like we get to be a band of three for a while.

ET talks us into walking the to the trail head instead of catching a ride. (Three miles looks really short on google maps.) We’re taking the devil’s slide trail back to the PCT. It’s such a treat to be hiking in trees. J tries to find the most fragrant Ponderosa pine, burying his face in pine tree trunks smelling for the distinctive butterscotch. Idyllwild is at 5000 feet and it’s all uphill from there. Today is going to be a serious hump.

And up we go. At the junction where the PCT splits off from the San Jacinto Peak trail, we stop to discuss if we’re going to peak or do the traverse. Uphill is always the right decision – so up we go. Our buddy Max runs into us at the junction – and we’re a band of four.

More up. And up. I’m feeling the elevation but I pant wheeze huff and gasp all the way to the top. WOOHOOOO – 10,800 feet. That’s the kind of panorama I’m talking about.

There’s an old shelter house up top, built in the ’30s. There are four bunks inside. “There are four of us,” points out Max.
   “Let’s stay up here and watch the sun go down from the peak,” suggest ET.

It’s only 3:30 and only ten miles since we left Idyllwild – we were planning on pounding out at least five more – but sometimes it’s not about the miles, and we put down our packs.

From the top we convince ourselves we can see where we started. Looking north, we can see where we’re going. It’s both far, and not. The beginning is still in sight, so many misty mountains away. The sunset is fabulous. I’m so happy.

Big trees


The top



Now that’s a panorama (we’re all in it)


J’s money shot

ET conducting one of his hiker interviews with J. He’ll put them together at the end of his hike.

Nighty night, folks.


3 thoughts on “Day 14: it’s all uphill

  1. Hi,
    I am enjoying your blog. You asked what the red flower you found on day 14. My friend told me it is called snow plant, because it often appears while there is plenty of snow. I hope your feet get better soon. Try moleskin. It will pad your blisters. Enjoy.

    • Moleskin has helped a lot for certain blisters, but it doesn’t work well for heels or the balls of my feet. Glacier gels and sports tape have better for those. A big old vial of suck it up has worked the best 🙁

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