In Big Bear, I met up with a fellow south bounder and oddly enough began hiking with a young man named Isaac.
We hike long hard days..
But seem to be taking long water & food breaks at scenic locations.
Trying to soak up the time we have left.
Of all the animals and creatures I've ran into..
This was one of the most detailed and coolest creatures.
I saw this horny toad scoot across the trail,
So I gently picked him up to examine a little closer..
We are now aware that the Mexican Border is within reach.. Mother nature though, wants to let us know it's not over yet!
Because we have about 200 miles left, I have been trying to make my 4th pair of shoes last.
However, the sides blew out and I have been hiking for a couple days now with a 5" hole from the side of my foot all the way to my big toe. I am hoping they'll make it to Idyllwild were I have my 5th pair awaiting me.
They just have to make it over one more mountain- the largest in the area!
As we approach the base of Mt. San Jacinto you are at about 1,300ft of altitude.
In a single day we climb up to about 10,000ft.
Hiking upwards, the temperature begins to drop quickly. At about 7000ft the trees are covered in a layer of ice.
At this point the night is coming, so we put on another layer and turn on our headlamps.
Soon the whole trail is covered with a thick layer of ice!
At first we are laughing and joking around.
Then we become very quiet and serious as we realize how bad it is becoming.
(Remember- we're on top of a mountain on a tiny trail that for the most part is slanted and going uphill or downhill)
At times we are on all fours..
I am cautiously walking when the slanted trail takes me...
I slide uncontrollably 25-30 ft right off the trail and fall about 10ft down where I land hard!
Somehow I grab a bush and hook my leg on on a rock before sliding off a cliff..
This is by far the slowest hiking I've done on trail..
We slowly make our way over the peak and down to lower elevation.
At this point it is getting late and we are way behind schedule.
We pick up the pace and blaze down the back side of the mountain.
Somehow during the dark, we missed our turn off trail to Idyllwild.
We decide that we've gone too far to turn back, so we continue to hike further down an alternate trail until we come to a small campground near our road.
I approach an elderly man whom is setting up his tent in the snow.
We ended up helping him with his tent, which resulted in a ride down to Idyllwild where we could resupply.
So much for the desert!