The detour (Warner Springs 109 to Idyllwild 179)

Posted on: Tuesday May 3, 2016 Pacific Crest Trail

This post was written in my sleeping bag at the end of a long day. Please excuse any errors.

We leave the tent city at Warner Springs and hike up to camp at Agua Caliente Creek. The name is a misnomer- my steripen flashes its snowflake at me when I treat my water.

the-detour-warner-springs-109-to-idyllwild-179 And then we are climbing, up, up and up. I leave camp first, and no one catches me until near the top. We walk through a boulder field, pink rocks the size of cars. We eat lunch in the shade of a house sized boulder and then we are dropping down to Mike’s place, for a burger, beer and water. the-detour-warner-springs-109-to-idyllwild-179 We climb up to a ridge under bluebird skies. We set up to cowboy camp, but as the light fades, the clouds roll in. We hem and haw and set up our tents as the wind picks up. the-detour-warner-springs-109-to-idyllwild-179 It’s another night of 60mph gusts and we wake up in a cloud. We pack up and hike fast, racing the cold. It’s down to a campsite nestled among the boulders where we catch some rest the-detour-warner-springs-109-to-idyllwild-179 Its nine short miles to Paradise cafe. Here we part ways with almost everyone else. There’s a fire closure. A detour exists, but most people are planning on hitching around it. Six of us decide to hike the detour. the-detour-warner-springs-109-to-idyllwild-179 Dark clouds gather, and we aren’t far in when the hail starts. It’s gentle at first, then torrential. A friend isn’t feeling well, then starts to throw up. And then the thunder starts. Lightening strikes a mile away as we run for a camp spot under the trees. the-detour-warner-springs-109-to-idyllwild-179 It’s more climbing in the morning. There’s always climbing on the PCT. We walk along a ridge top to the fire closure, then duck down a side trail to the valley floor. We see one person all day. It’s my favorite section of the trail so far, both for the solitude and for the scenery. the-detour-warner-springs-109-to-idyllwild-179

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Eloise Robbins (Fun Size)

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Eloise Robbins (Fun Size) is a writer, triple crown thru hiker, and adventurer. She is a lover of the outdoors, hiking, canoeing, and most of all mountains.

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