After a windy night at Doble Trail Camp we were back on the Pacific Crest Trail after our break from hiking for the Kickoff.
The rain we experienced at Lake Morena last Friday came down as snow in Big Bear, but the Pacific Crest Trail was clear. We were treated to beautiful views of a snowy Sugarloaf Mountain as we hiked past Big Bear Lake.
The trail today was surprisingly gentle and easy allowing us to ease back into the rhythm of hiking.
Deb was thrilled to encounter two open air outhouses during today’s hike.
Photo: Big Bear Lake and snowy mountains.
Trail Date: Monday, April 28th
Mileage: 17.1 miles
We took a few days off from hiking the Pacific Crest Trail to attend the Kickoff (ADZPCTKO) at Lake Morena Campground and did not have cell phone service, so we have gotten behind on the blog.
After a zero day at the Big Bear Hostel, Chris and Mumbles gave us a ride to the kickoff in a rented van. Thanks Chris and Mumbles.
The Kickoff is a wonderful celebration of the PCT and this year was no exception. We saw many old friends and met new ones and attended many of the presentations.
This year seemed slightly different with a higher percentage of those attending being thru-hikers than in past years. The kickoff organizers have been struggling with the popularity of the event which is outgrowing the park where it is held.
We went on a shopping spree at the Kickoff. Lon bought a new Six Moon Designs Fusion backpack and we decided to upgrade our tent to a new Zpacks Duplex tent. These two items dropped Lon’s pack weight by about 1.5 pounds and the tent has more room than our old one.
We had some wind and rain at the Kickoff Friday night and Saturday and the new tent handled it well.
We also heard some really sad news at the Kickoff. On Thursday a young 19 year old hiker died while walking the first 20 miles of the PCT to Lake Morena.
Also, we learned that Richey Ruff, the developer behind the PCTHYOH app died shortly before the Kickoff.
On Sunday, White Jeep picked us up at the Lake Morena campground and whisked us off to San Diego. Dal met us there and they outfitted Lon’s pack with an amazing new data logger. Dal then took us to Big Bear, and we hiked the 2.5 miles from Highway 18 to Doble Trail Camp before dark.
Photo: The new Zpacks tent.
Trail Date: April 23 – 27th
Mileage: 2.5 miles
Today we hiked the eight miles to Big Bear where we will be taking our first zero day* of our hike. We actually will be taking five days off, because we will be catching a ride with friends to Lake Morena and the Pacific Crest Trail kickoff (AKA ADZPCTKO).
We checked into the Big Bear Hostel which is full of hikers we have met along the trail.
*A zero day is a day off from hiking when you hike zero miles.
Photo: We were surprised to see Joshua Trees near Big Bear.
Trail Date: Tuesday, April 22nd
Mileage: 8.1 miles
We woke up to find ice crystals on our sleeping bags and the thermometer read 28 degrees. We have climbed back into the mountains and the pine trees.
Our camp at Mission Springs was the last water source on the Pacific Crest Trail for 16 miles, until tonight’s campsite at Arrastre Trail Camp.
We had lunch at the Coon Creek Jump Off, which gave us our final views of the desert floor we left behind two days ago.
Photo: A snowy San Gorgonio Mountain as seen from the PCT.
Trail Date: Monday, April 21th
Mileage: 16.2 miles
We awoke to find ants marching around and under our tent. It took a little extra time shaking the ants off everything before we were ready to hike.
Once we started hiking the Pacific Crest Trail it was along the very pretty Mission Creek. The creek was flowing and flowers blooming.
We are regaining most of the elevation we lost descending from the San Jacinto’s a few days ago, and are climbing toward the mountain community of Big Bear. Today we climbed about 5,000 feet.
Photo: PCT the land of lizards.
Trail Date: Sunday , April 20th
Mileage: 13.7 miles
Out went the coffee pot at 5 am and up popped 20 Pacific Crest Trail hikers eager to begin their day.
We had a quick breakfast, packed up our gear, said our goodbyes, and headed for the trail.
We soon came upon Whitewater Creek filled with holiday weekend visitors. After a foot soak in the creek (Deb got her first blisters today), we continued to climb out of the canyon and were treated to spectacular views.
We are now camped near Mission Creek. Tomorrow we begin the long climb up Mission Creek on our way to Big Bear.
Photo: Whitewater Creek from above.
Trail Date: Saturday, April 19th
Mileage: 15.4 miles