Tuesday, April 16, 2019 – 4.30 miles
I was intending to leave early this morning, but didn’t wake up until 8:00 AM and then leisurely ate and packed, so maybe it was more ‘idea’ than ‘intention’. Moreover I had planned to take the bus to as near the edge of town as possible, and it was delayed twenty minutes by a fueling problem. Finally it arrived and I rode to Highway 18 at the edge of Big Bear City.
After only a few minutes, a trail angel picked me up and drove me to the trailhead. Three hikers were waiting there for a ride to town, including Dillon back from the beginning of my hike. I had thought he was way ahead, but he explained that he had temporarily left the trail due to foot problems. Altras. He now has a trail name, ‘Growler’, acquired from an incident in which he made a growling noise to try to scare away an animal in the bushes. It turns out that the ‘animal’ was actually another hiker, who got frightened.
The trail was rocky today. I walked to Doble Trail Camp, where I was planning to get water. My careless manipulations of the spigot by the corral produced no water, so I tried the one by the outhouse. The water was discoloured and tasted so strongly of iron that it was undrinkable. Another hiker showed up just after I had tasted the water, and claimed there was a better spigot. That turned out to be the corral, but I tried the handle with more dedication this time and figured out the pushing motion to make it work.
The time was around 3:30 PM when I had finished filtering enough water to get to the next sure source. I was tempted to simply camp at Doble Trail Camp, which is not so attractive with power lines overhead but has an outhouse along with the water. I felt that would be wasting time though, so I walked a few more miles, reaching a saddle that the PCT crosses to continue along the northern side of the mountains.
The wind was blowing strong from the north, so I chose a sheltered spot on the south side of the saddle to hunker down. The night is going to be cold but the forecast for tomorrow is lovely.