Idyllwild to Big Bear - 266 total miles

Starting a steep climb at 7000 feet with a heavy pack is tough... and humbling.  Day one of the 6 day hike was uphill and through snow that drained my energy.  Not exactly how you want the first 15 miles to go.

 Devils Slide coming out of Idyllwild  

Devils Slide coming out of Idyllwild  

 Snow games... 

Snow games... 

I can feel my body adapting more and more each day.  With each new day, a new pain arrives while  one disappears.  I've never been so in tune with my body as I have in the past 18 days.  I drink and eat when my body tells me.  I hear it calling loudly. 

I have found that when a difficult section is coming, I'm better off putting my head down and focusing on each step.  If I look up then I am defeated mentally.  It's a mind game.  My body can do it, but can my mind?

 Trail face is coming in nicely! 

Trail face is coming in nicely! 

Slowly I'm figuring out what food I like.  Pastries in the morning are amazing.  Strangely, it's not always great to have a hot meal at night.  I snack all day and so far it's been working for me.  I've only bonked one day so far so that's a win in my book. 

 San Jacinto

San Jacinto

By far the best evening on the trail was near White Water Reserve.  We arrived in camp early and spent a good amount of time soaking in the river and throwing rocks and random objects.  It was glorious.   

 Great evening views.  Can't beat it! 

Great evening views.  Can't beat it! 

 Lunch on day 3 to Big Bear  

Lunch on day 3 to Big Bear  

 My gear is holding up, but I miss my pack from back home.  These ultralight backpacks are painful to wear and clearly not built for carrying any sort of real loads.  I've fussed with every adjustment I can, yet it still hurts.  Between hot spots on my lower back and my shoulders having to bear most of the weight because the frame sheet can't hold the weight well enough, my thoughts wander to my Exo pack back home in my basement.  I'd give anything to have that pack out here, but because of sponsorship issues, I'm left with working through the struggles of this pack.  It's designed well enough, but just doesn't wear well.  Maybe Granite Gear works for some, but for me it just doesn't.

 Ice cold soak

Ice cold soak

I'm learning to love the desert.  How can't you with views like this?
I'm learning to love the desert.  How can't you with views like this?
 Basically how each day ends... 

Basically how each day ends... 

All in all I'm enjoying myself.  It's fun seeing the miles pass by and accomplishing such large hurdles.  Mountains are no longer a fear, but rather an acceptable task.  

 Trail magic headed into Big Bear! 

Trail magic headed into Big Bear! 

I now have 100 miles between Big Bear and Wrightwood.  It seems like a lot, but it's simply one day at a time.  Routine is the key. 

 

 Though burned, it's still beautiful. 

Though burned, it's still beautiful. 

266 miles By Land, 

 

Emory Ronald