Today we set out to begin our attempt of the San Jacintos. Given the shortness of the leg we skipped, our packs are lighter, and our pace is slower. It is nice though, as our days are more playful.
Despite my general proclivity to sleep in until 10am or later, the trail has shaped us into day creatures quickly. It is difficult to sleep past sunrise, even when staying up late (10-11pm) in trail towns. Apricots and I woke around 7am. Shortly after our showers and packing up, we went to a local coffee shop for a morning treat.
We milled about town, and did the last of our errands, before enjoying a tasty breakfast burrito and hitting the road with our packs and our thumbs.
Sitting just outside of the small downtown area of Idyllwild (population 3500 approx), we held our thumbs skyward. Ten minutes later, a lady in a jeep pulled over. Apparently she was driving west when she saw us. She turned her jeep around to drive us east. She felt that it wouldn't ruin her day errands to drive us out of Idyllwild. She drove us halfway to our destination before dropping us off and turning around to go back to her daily business.
Standing on a new pad of land with skyward thumbs, we awaited our next ride. Another westbound driver turned around to talk to us. She said she was running up to Idyllwild on a quick errand, but would be returning eastward directly afterwards. If we so desired we could go up and back with her. We politely declined, stating that if we were around when she came back we would love a ride.
As luck would have it, three cars later, we had a ride back to where we left trail. Apricots and I climbed into the mini-cooper and rode the remaining 17 miles, talking to the driver of his work in Outdoor Education.
Soon we were dropped at the trail head. The temperature was barely 50 degrees, and we knew that the sooner we got moving, the sooner we could get warm. Just as we were set to go, Team Megatex (Uncle Tom, The Mayor, Dick Wizard, and General Lee) arrived.
As we are planning to cross San Jacinto together, our course is fairly prearranged. We only set out to do seven miles, and we stuck to the plan.
The hike took us past amazing red granite boulders, some larger than houses. The serpentine trail traveled between larger boulders, making for a fun walk. The temperature was low, so the hike was enjoyable. Soon the red granite boulders were overrun by large grey granite boulders. Legend says that the boulder fields we walked through were a result of an epic battle between a warrior, Algoot, and a banished murdering evil chief, Tahquitz.
In the evening, we found a camp next to a spring, nestled under Gold Cup Oaks and Box Elders. The tree we camped next to was an enormous Oak, pictured below. After setting camp in the early afternoon, General Lee built a fire. We spent the evening watching a very light snow flurry blow in from up the hill, while we enjoyed the heat of a very nicely built fire.
Tomorrow we have another casual day, which should set us up for a snow filled saturday. Hopefully the sun continues to melt the snow down for us. Today was a little cool, tomorrow is supposed to be warmer.
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