Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 21 (6/7) Should've Taken that Detour...

So as the title gives away, I made my first significant mistake today. One mile into the trail today, we encountered the second closure; this one was to protect an endangered species of frogs. The closed section was 3.8 miles long, and the official detour was 18.5 miles. This had sat well with no one, and the other alternative was to walk down 5 miles on highway 2 and then backtrack to catch the PCT. Well, the two guys I was with decided to go through, and after some internal debate, I chose to do so as well, while being cautious near water. Long story short, I fell behind the others when I had to crawl under a blowdown, and ended up losing the overgrown trail and bushwhacking across a mountain to get to the PCT.The good news was that my route kept me away from water and the e endangered species habitat. The bad news was that it took forever, and I wasted 5 hours in that section. Plus I went the wrong way once I hit the trail, so I was really struggling. Right there I decided never again to violate a closure, regardless of the circumstances.

I finally got ruling along the trail around 1pm, and it was painfully clear that this would be a low mileage day. I was treated to some very nice views in the next 5 miles, so that helped soothe my spirit. Around 3:00 I had just finished answering nature's call when I heard someone coming down the trail. I still want sure if Noah was ahead or behind, but Toby and Sprinkles were definitely behind me. Surprisingly it was none of them, as Orbit came walking into view. I had met her several days prior on the way out of Cajon Pass, but didn't expect to see her again. She confirmed that  Toby and Sprinkles were still behind me, but she didn't know about Noah. We hiked together for the rest of the day, and I got to hear about her thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail last year. This year she had actually started the PCT with her brother, but unfortunately he didn't make it this far...

As early evening came around we ran into King Toot at a campground chilling out. He mentioned that there was a beer cache 2 miles up, so we all hurried down the trail. Despite our quickened pace, by the time we got there three hikers ahead of us had taken the best beer (sierra nevada ipa) and had left bud light. Well, it was cold and refreshing regardless, and we all enjoyed one as we caught up with Plant and Detour. Positive ID had already left, and I was shocked to hear he had passed me - had to be that time lost to the not detour... We took off with the plan to get a few extra miles as the other two waked down the road to a diner. I still have far too much food due to town stops and caches, so I needed to work down my food bag.

About 4 miles up we ran into Positive ID already in his sleeping bag. We chatted for awhile before we walked on a few more miles to camp. I was right about the detour - Positive ID had done the 5 mike road walk, but then had a problem reconnecting with the trail, so he walked another 3 miles on the road until he found it (bypassing another 6 mile section). Hopefully hew catches up tomorrow as it would be fun to hike with him as well in our group.

Miles Today: 21
Trip Mileage: 411

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