Fuller ridge trailhead – Idyllwild
12 miles. 1959ft up. 4083ft down.
Not eating dinner was a mistake. After falling asleep stupidly early I woke at 11pm starving and bursting for a wee. I got out the tent and tonight’s ‘supermoon’ really didn’t look any bigger than any other full moon, but it was incredibly bright. In my tent I could read the labels on the food packets without a torch. Tonight would have been the perfect night to night hike.
I don’t eat anything. I just try and go back to sleep. Because we went to bed so early we have decided to start walking early, at 5:30am. I have had plenty of sleep, but when my alarm goes off I don’t feel great. It was a struggle to get up and I felt a bit sweaty inside my sleeping bag.
It was dark when we started and it was difficult to find the trail in some places but it got light quickly and there was a beautiful sunrise across the desert. I was on a bit of a downer this morning. I think it was probably because I was tired, not from lack of sleep, just tired. It’s hard to explain. I wasn’t sure if I was feeling unwell or it was just a combination of everything getting me down. Being ‘the positive one’ feels like it’s taking a lot of energy. I was disappointed that my fundraising for Just A Drop was only achieving 50p per mile rather than my goal of £1 per mile. I really enjoy fundraising but I also find it incredibly stressful. Sometimes I feel like just giving up on it, but of course quitting is not part of my make up so I never would.
Things were just getting to me today so I had a little cry, felt sorry for myself for a bit, then pulled myself together and got a grip. Everyone needs a little cry every now and then. On the plus side, when I’m emotional I fly up the trail and the 5 miles of uphill went by without me really noticing.
There are so many little side trails and alternate routes on this part of the trail I was struggling to stay on the right path. The idea was that I would wait for Catwater by the junction to the Devils Slide trail, then we could hitch into Idyllwild. I came to a big jumble of signposts (I hadn’t walked this part of the PCT last year as I took the alternate route that takes you up to the top of Mt San Jacinto) I saw the sign to Idyllwild and checked the GPS and took the trail ahead of me.
I had been walking downhill for a while and I thought I should have come to a little uphill by now. I checked the GPS. I was no longer on the PCT and I was half way down a side trail called the Deer Springs trail!! I really didn’t want to hike back uphill and on closer inspection of the maps I saw that I could just continue hiking on this trail and walk a bit on the road and head straight into Idyllwild. And the miles would be the same as the PCT. So I carried on. The trail is quite steep and rocky but it’s a nice trail.
I sent Catwater a message to let her know what I had done and I sped down the trail, did the sketchy road walk and found myself in town. I had a feeling Catwater was going to be quite a way behind me so instead of waiting to eat like I usually would of I headed to the Red Kettle and ate fish and chips at 11am. I had already eaten a Twix at 5:30am so I figured it was lunch time anyway. I waited and waited but no sign of her, the place was filling up for lunch so I left and sat outside for a while. I got bored so I decided to have a wander about. Idyllwild is a great little town but there are not many places to wander to!
I went to the supermarket to prepare myself for resupply. One of the shop workers asked me if I was hiking and started chatting to me about the trail. I told him food was becoming a struggle and I didn’t want to eat any of it. He said he had something to show me and he led me to the instant mashed potatoes. I would rather starve than eat them but it’s the thought that counts!!
Uninspired by anything in the supermarket I went to the natural food store, which looked like they were closing down, and wandered about the pharmacy. With nowhere left to wander to I went to the Idyllwild Inn and asked if Catwater had a reservation. She did so they let me leave my pack there and I went outside to hang about. It’s weird not having her with me, especially in town. I feel a bit lost without her. Finally she rolls up and she managed to get a ride in a mini, so god job we weren’t together or we wouldn’t have fitted in the car!
We checked into the Idyllwild Inn and then went for food. It was about 2pm now and it had been a good three hours since I last ate so I had a chicken sandwich which was delicious. We did laundry, had showers and all that stuff. We were waiting on our laundry to be finished before we went out for dinner, but when we went to check on it they had forgotten to put it in the dryer so we went out in just our puffy jackets and rain gear. Too cold outside and way too hot inside.
We walked up the road to the Mexican restaurant and when we were seated a lady asked us if we were sobos and she introduced herself as trail angel Stacey.
She said she was a trail angel so I asked her if she was offering rides back to the trail, and we managed to secure a ride for the day after next nice and early in the morning. We have time on our side right now so we have decided to take a zero as this is the last proper town.
I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Please donate here, every little bit helps.