This post was written in my sleeping bag at the end of a long day. Please excuse any errors.
We are itchy in Idyllwild, impatient to hike. Our motel gives us a ride to the trailhead. I pull out my camera to take a photo and it gives me an error message. I turn it off and back on again. Still no luck. Great. The most beautiful part of the trail and I have to rely on my cell phone. I chase Shake’nBake and Bear Bait down the trail, asking them to take photos for me.
We climb the Devil’s slide trail to rejoin the PCT. Two miles in, most people pitch their tents. I keep mine in my bag- we’ll be racing darkness on the way back down and all five of us will fit in there if we have to. There’s a few snow slopes, but it’s an easy climb to the summit ridge. There, a snow slope with a scary run out. Fifty feet from the top is close enough for me. We race the darkness down. The last hour, we can’t see outside the tiny bubbles of our headlamps. We reach our tents and collapse, exhausted. The next day, we wake above the clouds. There’s a storm coming in. It seems like there is always a storm coming this year. We pass over Fuller Ridge in the mist. We’ve been warned about this section, but it’s OK. And then we are running, down, down, five thousand feet to somewhere safe to camp The next day is a push. So much descent is destroying my feet, my knees, my quads. But we beat the storm down, past mile 200. We find trail magic under the interstate, and then we are at Ziggy and the Bears, to plan what we want to do for our next fire closure.