Wednesday, May 17, 2023

13 miles

I woke up in the dusty side lot of the Joshua Inn and had to decide what to do.

My feet were absolutely destroyed the day before. They had been getting worse and worse, ever since Big Bear, despite my zeroes in Idyllwild and Palm Springs. I think the main culprit was the late creek crossing a few days ago and my feet never really recovered.

New blisters, old blisters festering, and now ankle pain, on top of the numbness spreading in my left foot. That said, a good night’s sleep at the Joshua Inn revived me enough to decide to continue hiking with Sticks until at least Cajon Pass, 26 miles further on.

We woke up and were in no rush, since we were only going 13 miles to Silverwood Lake.

Alan gave us a ride back to trail in his electric Nissan Leaf with a trailer for our packs.

We hiked up into the hills, but mainly stayed on the flanks of them overlooking the valley with views of Mt. Baldy in the distance.

Mt Baldy with snow

We had one tricky creek crossing where Sticks tried to rock hop, but slipped and fell in, losing a hiking pole in the process.


We came to the dam that creates Silverwood Lake and the California Water Authority equipment depot at its base.

Approaching the dam

We hiked up a steep hill and were greeted at the top by great views of the lake and an amazing breeze. We then hiked a few more hot miles around the lake to the far side, where we had an amazing swim and rest at some picnic tables in the shade.

Water felt amazing, but my feet were not happy.

We weren’t technically allowed to camp at the lake, so the plan was to hang out until evening and “stealth camp” (usually cowboy camping – no tent – in an inconspicuous place) to avoid detection and get out early the next morning.

But the trail provides. Sticks got a text that a friend of a friend (another firefighter) who lived 20 minutes from the lake had offered to let us stay with her that night and was going to pick us up! Trail Angels rock!

Beth picked us up in her RAV4 and drove us up the windy mountain road to the small town of Crestline. First stop: FOOD!

Me, Beth, and Sticks devouring Mexican food

She then took us to her house where we showered, did laundry, and slept in real beds! She even gave me a robe.

Thanks Beth!

2 thoughts on “Decisions

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