July 13, 2017: Hiked Miles 1256.3 to 1273.8 (17.5 total)
We woke up to a warm, dark morning as we were camping in a dense forest. It’s hard to get up when it’s still dark, but once the sun started to poke through the trees, I forced myself up.
I have gross Nescafe instant coffee packets right now so I put one of my mint marshmallows in it to see if it would make it taste any better and holy cow, amazing! These are definitely my new favorite food. Marshmallows are food right?
While we were eating breakfast one of our friends from the desert passed by on the trail. We first met her when we hitched a ride into Julian together and hadn’t seen her since Cabazon, where we continued hiking, and she went into town to get In-n-Out. She was one of the first people we really got to know early on, so it was so cool to reconnect with her. She had skipped ahead and was now heading south. We talked with for a bit and then said goodbye. Hopefully we’ll see her again in Washington.
We hiked out of camp around 7:30 and quickly hiked the mile up to the mountain peak. Once we got to the top and saw the view, we wished that we would have hiked farther last night to stay on top.
We found a cool rock lookout and had fun playing king of the mountain.
Everything was so green and lush and smelled so fresh.
And eventually we popped out on the other side of Buck’s Lake Road once again where we were planning to hitchhike into Quincy to pick up our resupply package. We waited. And waited. And then waited some more. There were quite a few cars going to the west, but very few that passed by us going toward Quincy.
I thought that maybe if we put on some type of a show, we might have a better chance getting picked up. So Colton found some rocks and practiced his juggling skills.
But we always get a ride eventually, and after an hour and a half, a nice couple of ladies pulled off in their truck and picked us up. They didn’t have room inside their truck so we hopped in the bed and had a nice, scenic drive into town.
It was actually a pretty good deal: all you can eat pizza, salad, and breadsticks for $7.99. The pizza is not the best, but if you eat enough I guess it doesn’t matter. And since I only get to eat vegetables a few times a month, I was in heaven. We were starving by this point and chowed down as fast as we could.
We ran into a couple more hikers there and met the infamous Trail Bait, a kitten that one of the hikers adopted along the way and has been hiking with ever since. She told us he hikes a few miles a day and then carries him the rest of the time. I don’t know which one of them I feel more sorry for.
After stuffing our faces, I ran down to Safeway to get a few supplies and was so excited to find the mint marshmallows I love that I had just ate the last of this morning! They had a bunch of different flavors, but I’m a big mint chip fan so I stuck with the good stuff.
I went back to Round Table where Colton hadn’t moved from his air conditioned table and forced him back out into the hot summer day. We started walking back towards Buck’s Lake Road which was on the other side of town and when we were about halfway there a guy pulled up in a jeep and asked if we wanted a ride to the trailhead. Of course we did! We hopped in his jeep and cruised back up with the wind in our hair.
He told us that he lived a few miles below the trailhead and his marathon training is to run from his house to the summit. We laughed, but I think he was serious, and judging from the climb, I can see why.
He dropped us off on top and we put our shoes back on and got back at it. We had hiked nine miles this morning and figured that after stuffing ourselves full of pizza we wouldn’t want to hike very much, so our plan was to just hike a couple miles to get water and find a tentsite. But when we got back on the trail a little after 4:00 we felt pretty good so we decided to try for eight miles to the next creek.
We started off with a decent climb and were sweating in no time. We passed some trail crews heading back down so we had a decent trail to follow… for a few miles at least. Then it was back to log-hopping.
The climb went from dry, exposed hills to lush meadows to tall timber.
We hiked until we found our creek and filled up with water and set up camp just around the corner. The mosquitoes were swarming since we were by water so we sprayed ourselves like crazy and put our long clothes on. It was already after 7:30 and we were pretty hungry after our climb so we made potatoes and rice and had some hot cocoa for dessert. When we went to wash our pots out in the stream, we spooked some deer so Colton tried to chase them around for awhile. Of course they scampered away in about two seconds.
Not the worst place to spend the night:
Now we’re laying in our tent and it sounds like a million deer running through the trees surrounding us. They’re probably after my amazing marshmallows. Definitely not sharing those. We didn’t put the rainfly on since it’s been so warm the past couple nights and we haven’t needed it, but we’re next to a creek tonight and it’s getting a little chilly, so hopefully we don’t have to throw it on in the middle of the night. At least we have a view of the stars to fall asleep to.