Something I forgot to mention in my post from Big Bear Lake were the conversations I had with people who were stuck on the mountain in the storm – there were stories of freezing rain, ice on tents, puddles in tents, helicopter rescues, people calling 911, people using rocks and tree bark for protection. People were soaked to the skin and all their kit was wet. It sounds like I made the best decision to get up the mountain the day before the storm hit!  

So the day started the day well. Here’s a little look at my snack set up for the day…

I have the breakfast essentials (bit like nesquik) mixed with half a litre of water to encourage me to drink something in the morning and the choc chip oat bar. Then I eat the rest of it throughout the day. But I just have to mention the chocolate – I thought a Mars bar (along with Coca-Cola and Pringles) was one of those things that is available all over the world – not in the good old USA. Over here a Mars Bar is a Milky Way! As an English person this leaves me completely confused! (Along with why you’d want to eat biscuits and gravy or chicken and waffles!)

So I started going at a good pace and I stopped a around a mile in to get water, Lucky was there… 

We walked through a lot of burn area this morning…

  

I bumped into Zog who showed me a beaver dam, pretty cool – you could see where they had gnawed away at the wood. 

I walked with marathon john for most of the morning (so called because he has run 62 marathons!!!) and we had some good chats about California. 

We stopped around 7 miles in at the water source and Roxanne arrived while we were there (she didn’t make it to the same camp as me last night so she got up super early and hiked really fast to try and catch us up), so good to see her! 

Lucky and Marathon John filtering water:

I found some really big pine cones today:  

It was another 6 miles to the next water and this stretch felt like I was going really slowly. I was so glad to get there, the Tits were there already and I hung out with them for a bit and had a longer break than I usually would. The bugs were so annoying today, little tiny ones that just hover around your face.  

I seriously need to do something about this hand tan:

As well as bugs there were loads of butterflies flying about and I managed to get this awesome picture of one: 

Shortly after I hit the 300 mile mark. I cannot believe I have made it here! Three hundred miles!!

After another 7 miles we arrive at willow creek I spent the afternoon walking with Bill, he had a great story. He wanted to do pct in 1970 but got enlisted into the army, he got married, had 3 kids and set up a business. But he retired last year and asked his wife (married 44 years and not more than a week apart) if he could do it, she said yes (he wouldn’t have done it if she said no) awww. He got a love letter and his favourite dark chocolate in his resupply package. 

He also has a son who is a graphic designer who works in San Francisco, mainly in the wine industry. Hello son of bill!! 

We stopped at the creek to camp but we couldn’t really get to the water though as there was loads of poison oak, although Zog is immune so he was getting water for us. 

I camped with the Tits, Zog and Roxanne and Wet Dog and Bill were around the corner. I had a delicious dinner of taco rice, string cheese and slim jim…I’ve been struggling a bit with my food but just about getting the hang of it now!

We were in our tents early as there were so many bugs around. I was lying there listening to some massive (they sounded massive) bugs dive bombing my tent. 

  

20 miles felt good today, I could have carried on to do more. Deep Creek is only 2 more miles away but we were a bit apprehensive about it being a Friday night as it attracts a big drug and party scene from weekenders. 

My hips absolutely fine, no problems at all which is great (although I’m still maintains my daily dose of Aleve). I have a bit of a hot spot on the other heel which I’m hoping won’t blister. I get the occasional stabby pain in my back/neck area towards the end of the day and have to keep readjusting my pack. The worst problem I have right now is my cuticles on my first two fingers on my left hand, my hands are so dry they have split and they are so painful!! How is something so small so painful!

Tomorrow we go to the hot springs…

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