Day 11: Idyllwild to Palm Desert 

April 25, 2017: Hiked alternate route for Moutain Fire closure (10.5 miles total)

Our day started off with a dew-covered tent and a cold morning. Sleeping next to a creek might not have been the best idea. But at least it was pretty.

Colton misplaced his spork last night so after we finished packing up, we scoured the area for it. I was digging through my bag to make sure it wasn’t there, when suddenly Colton pulled it out of his jacket pocket. Right as he did, I went to put my spork back in my bag and broke it in half. Go figure. 

We set off hiking to a nice cool morning. We walked to the highway where we instantly got picked up by a local and he took us up the road to where the alternate trail route resumed. The whole morning was a beautiful, steep uphill climb into the little mountain town of Idyllwild.

Our first stop was to check out the local outdoor store, Nomad Ventures, for new shoes. 

We finally decided enough is enough and our feet had had enough torture. The shoes we have are great for running through mountains and crossing streams, but are proving to not have enough support for the desert and all the weight we’re carrying. And they’re waterproof which means in the desert our feet just sweat all day and can never get relief.

I got a pair of Altra Lone Peak 3.0’s, one of the most common shoes on the trail. I also got some arch supports since I have crazy high arches that have been killing me more and more every day, and Colton and I both got gaiters, to hopefully keep some of the sand and rocks out of our shoes. Colton is gonna try on some more shoes tomorrow before he decides.
Colton’s aunt, Jayme, lives in Palm Desert and she so kindly went out of her way and came and picked us up for a day off. We can never thank her enough for her kindness. She took us straight to her restaurant, ROC’s Firehouse Grille, that her and her husband own and treated us to an amazing lunch. We left stuffed. 

She also hooked us up with a room at the hotel at the local casino. We were so excited to sleep in a huge bed and have a giant shower. Which we proceeded to destroy with all the dirt on our bodies.

And of course we had to air out all our wet gear.

We showered, relaxed, researched different resupply options for the upcoming weeks, made shopping lists for tomorrow, watched basketball, took full advantage of being able to spread our stuff out in more area than our little tent, and of course ate more delicious real, non-trail food. I may or may not have ate two meals of fish tacos today.  

Now we’re watching Men in Black and planning more. Tomorrow we shop and rest our bodies a little more before heading back to the trail. But for the time being, we are so appreciative to get to enjoy a couple days of luxury and to get to visit with Colton’s family.

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