Day 14: mile 256.2 to mile 266.1 (10 miles, 16 km, 4 hours)
With no head torch my planned 4:30am exit had to be postpone a little. I’d have to wait another hour for enough sun light to be able to see to get packed up and hit the trail.
I love the early morning walking, I can’t say that enough. I set a cracking pace with one thing in mind – reach the interstate and get to Big Bear Lake.
The first 6 miles I knocked out in 2 hours, so averaging a 3 mile/ hour pace or 4.8km/hr. There wasn’t a lot to see anyway following a gully line down.
A few small climbs offered views across to Big Bear Lake where I was headed. Stopping for a few short breaks I was keen to keep moving and get to the road.
Reaching mile 265 marks reaching the 10% line. Only 2385 to go.
Reaching the interstate just before 9am, I was greeted with some trail magic in the form of cold sodas. Despite it being breakfast time I had to crush a cold Ginger Beer. Nancy was just behind me and did the same.
It’s always easier for blokes to get hitches in the company of a female and so we tried our luck at hitching. Traffic was light and having no joy we decided to Uber into town – perfect. Before the car arrived a third hiker appeared which made it even easier to split the price. $5 each you can’t go wrong.
Straight into town Nancy and I hit up a local brewery for breakfast and much needed coffee. Spying a hotel across the road with a ‘PCT Hikers Welcome’ sign we wandered across with packs to see if one: they had a couple of vacant rooms; and two: if we could check in early. Yes on both accounts. This was perfect. Centrally located it means I can get washed up, wash my laundry just up the road and walk to an outfitter to buy much needed fuel (I just had enough to get dinner heated last night before it cut out).
Most hikers stay at a popular hostel just 2 minutes away but I’ve had my fair share of hostel time and there is no way I’m doing that again. Once all the chores are done, town time is for relaxing and there is no relaxation in hostels. Hotels all the way baby.
I’m located in the heart of the village where all the popular eateries are so I’m bound to catch up with others I know tonight.
A big day ahead tomorrow with a 26 mile dry stretch coming up so rest is much needed. No wild partying for me tonight.