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PCT: Big Bear to Wrightwood, CA
mini location map2017-05-21
19 by photographer avatarThe_N
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PCT: Big Bear to Wrightwood, CA 
PCT: Big Bear to Wrightwood, CA
Backpack avatar May 21 2017
Backpack105.00 Miles 17,000 AEG
Backpack105.00 Miles5 Days         
17,000 ft AEG22 LBS Pack
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1st trip
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Joined Dallin for a portion of his PCT thru-hike.

Day 1: Left Big Bear and started down the trail from Hwy 18 at 3pm in a caloric surplus. About an hour into the hike we spotted a baby rattler next to the trail. Dallin's first rattler of the trip. Good views of the desert below opened up immediately. Lots of wildflowers in along the trail, as well. We stopped at a creek 9 miles in and set up camp for the night. Mosquitos were thick, which would be a theme for this trip.

Day 2: Broke camp in the a.m. and started trekking. We started in pines, but would soon start dropping into a warmer climate. I immediately noticed how well defined and nicely treaded this trail is. Views of Mt Baldy opened up as we descended into the riparian zone of Deep Creek. We passed several others taking afternoon siestas, but decided to keep going. Temps topped out at around 85. At some point we decided on camp at the hot springs that night. We didn't make it. At mile 29 I wasn't feeling well. We stopped for a break and I started to vomit and hyperventilate. Clearly, I was done for the day. Dallin found a semi-flat drainage area next to the trail. I set up my tent in a cloud of mosquitoes, stripped down, and crawled in. After laying silently for a hour or so, I was starting to feel normal again. I made us both some warm bean burritos. Dallin cried when I handed his to him.

Day 3: I woke up feeling totally revitalized and ready knock out 25 miles. We knew this would be the warmest day of them all. We finished out the Deep Creek section and made one last crossing before entering the 'desert'. Temps in the low 90s and miles of zero shade would define this day. About half way through the day I started feeling stomach discomfort again. I didn't feel overheated but chalked it up to heat exhaustion and parked it in the first shade tree we found. Frustrated, I decided to push on to next water. A shallow, flowing creek was around the corner. I laid in the creek for a few minutes and got my 2nd wind. We then walked through the hottest part of the day with no problems. We caught up with a group of 6 and would all camp at Silverwood Lake and hike together for the next couple of days. That night, I scored Dallin 4 slices of pizza from some of our neighbors. Again, he cried.

Day 4: Plan was to get 14 miles done and hide from the midday heat at McDonald's along I-15. The group was sort of dispersed but came together at a break spot. I had a burst of energy and wanted to see how fast I could move. I flew through those miles and was at McDonald's waiting for my fries and oatmeal when the others started to trickle in. We ate, filled up on water and packed out beer and Subway. After other 6 miles of hiking we arrived at a sandy wash in a valley we would call home for the night.

Day 5: Facing our biggest climb of the week, we set alarms for 4am with hopes of getting to higher ground before it got warm. We set off at 430am, headlamp hiking in a thick fog. We spent the next couple of hours in this fog. Soaked, sweating and chilled by the wind, we were thrilled to finally break through the clouds and get some sunshine. Climbing back into pines was a treat after a few warm days. Me and Dallin broke out ahead of the group and arrived at Hwy 2 at 1pm with 22 miles done. A local couple drove us down into Wrightwood where we would rendezvous with the group, have lunch and spend a night. Had a great time and met some awesome people. What a well built and well graded trail.
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Wildflowers Observation Moderate
If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
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