Day 17 – big bear lake

We had a great night camping on our little dirt road, no wind, no cold and great views. 

I woke with a small spring in my step at the thought of only hiking 2.5 miles today. It was already hot at 6:30am. Roxanne and I got to highway 18 and debated for a while which side of the road we needed to be on to hitch to Big Bear! We got despondent when we didn’t get a hitch after the first two cars, but eventually a guy picked us up on his way to work. He had never heard of the pct and I think he was Mexican, he had some dodgy Spanish music on. He dropped us at Kmart and we still had a mile and a half to get to the hostel – no way we were walking! We tried to get a hitch for ages, it just wasn’t working (do not wave at hitch hikers – it’s not nice!). I called the hostel to ask for a ride. No rides. We tried to get the bus from outside Kmart as the man from the hostel suggested, the bus was late, and we were sat on the sidewalk looking completely dejected when a lady pulled up and asked if we were pct hikers. We got ourselves a ride!!

She was lovely, she had to drop her lunch off at her sons school and she left us sat in her car – so trusting. She gave us a tour of the village and then took us right to the front door of the hostel. She then arranged to pick us up after her yoga class to take us to the supermarket. From dejected to elated! 

We went for breakfast at teddys. It was so good, and for once I ate every last bit!


There were lots of people in the hostel, sorting out resupply, doing laundry, eating…


The lovely lady came back and took us to Vons. I find doing my resupply so stressful and end up lobbing a bunch of random stuff in my basket. I also get distracted by all the crazy American things…

We said our goodbyes and in this photo she is massaging my shoulders which I would have been quite happy for her to do all day!!


We took showers, did laundry and sorted out all the new food – removing as much packaging as possible and seeing if I had actually bought anything worth eating! 

Lots of other hikers arrived Rowan got here and we went out for a much longer after milkshake in one of the best chocolate shops ever, I had to restrain myself from buying all the fudge. 


I spent most of the afternoon updating the blog and chatting to other hikers. I can’t introduce myself as Double Puff without bursting into laughter afterwards, so Tom Tit changed it to Puff Puff.

I am now Puff Puff. 

Some people had a little nap…

I have found that the best way to get something you need is just to shout out. For example ‘I really need some moisturiser’ and someone will say ‘oh there’s some right there!’ It’s good that way – the trail, or other people, will provide! 

Kat arrived in the afternoon and we went out for Mexican food. It wasn’t the best I’ve had, but I also think I was so stuffed full of food I didn’t really appreciate it.

On our return to the hostel we found Cuban had made it! He pushed like 25 and 30 mile days to get here, he wanted to catch up with the gang who are all together again! But he has probably given himself shin splints! 

Who knows when we will all be together again or what the next section brings. 

Rowan, Roxanne and I start back on the trail at 9:30 in the morning…


5 thoughts on “Day 17 – big bear lake

  1. Well, surprise of surprises. We were at the Big Bear Hostel on exactly the same day. I took a zero here on the 30th the day you were arriving.

    In the morning, Swiss Army was heading out a day ahead of us on the fancy station wagon shuttle back to Highway 18 PCT crossing.


  2. Oh, so here is where your name Puff Puff stuck. Wondered how it originated.

    Now that I look again, I remember Kat, as we walked and chatted a while on the trail out of Big Bear.


  3. I have just been rescanning over your past couple day posts, as I seem to remember you mentioning a hiker called Dude somewhere. Can’t find it now. Is my brain playing tricks on me?

    I met this guy at the Hostel the same day you were there, and in fact ended up sharing a bunk room with him and Mr. T. Never saw him again. I will post a couple pictures and see if you remember. He was not exactly the model of PCT hiker health. LOL. Doing the trail, he said, to get back into shape. Quite the character and good entertainment. Hats off to him for the effort, as heavier folks sure did labor up the hills.

    The Dude.

    Last I heard he had gotten to Wrightwood.


    1. I met Dude. He is the guy who saved me and the Tits from death by rattlesnake when we were too scared to pass it. He created a human shield and we went around him. Nice guy.


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