The morning after my last post I woke up, stood up and almost fell over in pain. I ended up spending four days at Warner Springs allowing my ankle to recover. I hiked out with Danielle and Sierra (who this time slowed down for me) and we took it slowly hiking roughly 20 miles to “Mike’s Place” over the next two days as the weather got cold and we watched a storm blow in. Mike’s Place was definitely the most interesting stop so far on the PCT. Several guys stay out there, they make really great brick oven pizza and dinner for hikers and provide water. They take donations and will allow you to sleep on their screened in porch, pitch a tent, or as a lucky six of us did sleep in a sweet vintage Beaver 31 trailer, the smell of which I will never forget.
The whole thing felt a bit like a horror movie and we joked that we had eaten hiker stew and would ourselves be served up to the next days hikers. I was appreciative of the warm food and dry place to sleep.
My shins and ankles decided they hated me once more and although I made it up the mountain we determined it would not be the wisest for me to hike down on my injured legs with a snow storm blowing in so we purchased a ride from one of the guys up at Mike’s to Paradise Valley Cafe at the price of $40 skipping twenty four miles of trail after realizing hitching out was not an option.
I felt incredibly defeated but was revived by the burger I had been longing for. We sat in the cafe for several hours waiting on “Grumpy” a local trail angel who was driving hikers back and forward to Idyllwild to skip the fire closure and get people out of the storm. We enjoyed our burgers, great coffee and a plate of sweet potato fries purchased for us by two really wonderful ladies that we met who were spending some time in Palm Springs.
(If you two are reading this, thank you again! I apologize again for my odor! I purchased some shower tokens and fully intend to bathe in the not to distant future.)
After arriving in Idyllwild I immediately stopped at the Post Office to pick up my new backpack. My previous backpack had a load adjuster strap break before Warner Springs. Gossamer Gear was awesome and quickly shipped me a brand new pack with no hassle at all as it was due to a defect. They are great in the customer service department and I’m confident the new pack will better hold up to the trail. I got to see some familiar faces who I had lost in the days prior and enjoy great food and coffee indoors while the snow started. I slept like a baby last night in the state park and woke up again to more pain.
Angie hooked me up with a sweet tape job which makes it hurt much less to hobble around. I am thinking I will be parked here for the next several days with my foot propped up and see a doctor if it does not improve. I am already stir crazy and ready to get back on the trail but am forcing myself to take the time I need to recover so I do not end up forcing myself off the trail entirely.