Posted by: blinklove | May 21, 2010

Oh, Big Bear!

Hello everybody!! We have been hiking hard for over a week.  We have landed ourselves in Big Bear, where we plan to relax for a bit and enjoy the town. A lot has happened!

It was advised, and many hikers chose, to skip Fuller Ridge and do a ten mile road hike to skip the feet of snow that had accumilated on top of the mountain and vanished the trail. We decided to go for it.  Luckily, it was not the riskiest hiking we had done thus far. While the snow we hit the couple of days before was really quite dangerous at parts, Fuller Ridge was not as dangerous because if you fell and slid, you were bound to be stopped by a tree, etc., instead of sliding 3,000 feet.  The difficulty here, however, was once again getting lost, and very lost.  It appeared nobody before us was able to stay on trail either.  Footprints would all lead down one direction and then split off into many, all eventuallydisappearing in the snow.  The trail is not marked in most of the parts of this area, even when the PCT connects and divides from other trails. We accidentally ended up on one of  these other trails and hiked about two miles straaaaaiigght down, dropping at least a thousand feet in elevation. It did not seem right to us, but we were assured by a thru-hiker behind us who had also hiked last year. We asked him if he thought we were going the right way and he said “Yes, this is right, we go down for a while”. So we kept going. Then we passed some guys at a view with a day pack who regretfully informed us we were not travelling on the PCT. He said a group of a few people ahead of us did the exact same thing, but he caught them much further up the mountain. =) That was a long day with four extra hard miles tapped on. 

Eventually after wandering on and off the trail for the rest of that evening and until the following afternoon, we found the trail out of the snow and followed it deep down into the desert, dropping 7,000 feet in elevation. Never have I more appreciated the lack of trees and snow.  The hiking has been pretty great since then, up and down and up a down on clear trail with a lot of good water.

Yesterday we were walking along and Stephen (who’s trail name is now Mr. Jefferson-to be spoken in a southern gentlemen’s accent, only) jumped backed. He had been a foot away from stepping on a thick, almost solid black, rattlesnake laid out across the trail. How thrilling!!! It’s rattle was extremely loud and had both our adrenaline levels soaring. I tried as hard as I could to get my camera in time, but I literally just missed it…next time!

We are in Big Bear this morning, and thrilled to be here.  We got in after eight o’clock last night from highway 38. We are going to slack-pack ten miles today and thirteen tomorrow, or take off today and slack 23 tomorrow. We are staying at a wonderful hostel with many other hikers.

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Responses

  1. keep up the skillz underneath the snow! mmm tastey stars;
    yummy snow skillz…. will follow
    breathe deep blinklove
    ***
    ~~~~

  2. How great to read your update! Keep up the great work and stay safe. Sending good thoughts your way…

  3. Yea! We’re missing you guys. Stephen, everyone is here this weekend for Maggie’s confirmation.
    The pics are gorgeous- and the rattlesnake story is one of the permanent memories, I’m sure.

  4. Both of you amaze me. Hike safely Brave Ones!!

  5. I love it Heather — hiking (and getting lost) in a skirt! You Go Girl!

  6. WHEW!!!! I thought maybe you had seen a BIG BEAR! For us hiking-virgins, what is slack-pack?? Be careful and watch out for them bears….errr I mean rattlesnakes….yikes! Love ya!

  7. Okay a sleeveless dress, backpaking in the snow….HUM….I did notice you had shoes on though, which makes me so very proud to know you 🙂
    Thanks for all the photos. BEAUTIFUL!!!!!


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