Jess came to visit me in Big Bear for the weekend and I was certain that saying goodbye that Monday was going to be much easier than in the airport. I was wrong. She dropped me off on a dirt road and it was all I could do not to just keep standing there with her. Walking away was no doubt one of the most difficult things I've had to do. No amount of miles, heat, muscle pain, or elevation gain can come close to the emotional difficulties of saying goodbye to the one you love.
The hike out of Big Bear was amazing. The trail was beautiful and rolling. My body felt incredible and it was as if I was gliding over the terrain. When I'm feeling great, my body naturally finds the best path and foot placements. My mind checks out, but my body checks in.
This last week was hot. Really hot. For two days it was in the 90's so hiking during the heat was a no go. Took a swim in Silverwood Lake then beat feet to the campground to order pizza. The next day was 13 miles to McDonald's where I scarfed down so so many calories.
Coming out of McDonald's at Cajon Pass, we ran into a hiker who was not looking good and headed back to the highway. He was suffering from heat exhaustion and within moments of laying him down he began cramping badly. With him screaming from the pain of the cramps, we pushed fluids and cooled him down. There was no chance of him hiking out so we called 911 and had him out of there within an hour.
The following day was a 19 mile slog up 5000 feet. It was tough but doable and felt good to accomplish.
I've been asking myself what my enjoyment level is on this hike. I can't honestly answer that yet with a clear conscience. It sucks, but rewarding. I have moments of being in disbelief that I'm doing this. It's a surreal experience that goes by fast yet slow. I'm at a loss for words about this hike. If you think it's easy, it's not. It takes everything in you to keep going day after day knowing that miles don't walk themselves. There is literally no option but to hike. When the day is over, you feel a sense of accomplishment knowing you did it yet again. You pushed yourself all those miles again and no one did it for you. Each days hike is a tiny reward followed by another day of at least 15 miles to cover.
To avoid injury, we aim for 15 miles per day and will do this for another month. Depending on terrain, I know 20 is doable without suffering too much, but this is a marathon and I want to see it through.
To avoid a storm, we've decided to stay in Wrightwood until the 8th. My body is ready to hike again.
370 miles thus far By Land,