tiffany's pct journal

California Section C: Interstate 15 (Cajon Pass) to Interstate 10 (Cabazon) - Part II.

Days: 132 - 134.
Dates: November 12 - 14.
Trail mileage: 2367.5 - 2387.0.
Distance: 19.5 miles.

I was getting close to Big Bear City. I had gotten in touch with DOCK, who gave me the best trail massage ever in Stehekin. He was living in Big Bear City, and had offered to let me stay with him for a couple nights.

Admittedly, it was getting harder and harder to wake up before 6:00 AM those mornings because the sun was rising so late. I had realized over the trail that I did better with climbs straight out of the gate in the mornings than later in the day, though, so I was glad the one big climb in the day was at the very beginning.

plastic flamingo on a trail sign
Yup, that's a plastic flamingo

I ran into Blender and Compass and the rest of the group a few miles in, and stopped for some snacks. Everyone had stopped here last night, so it was quite fun! Unsurprisingly, I ended up staying longer than I had planned.

trail magic
Thanks for the trail magic, guys!

I ran into Big Tex on the trail, whom I hung out with at Hiker Heaven a little ways back, and he was doing a section of the trail with his dad. Yahtzee and I stopped to chat with them. It seemed like I was having reunions all over the place in this section.

Unfortunately, this was the last time I would see Yahtzee because she had a hard deadline, while I was taking my time in the desert, so I was going to stop in Big Bear City while she was going to keep hiking. It was weird; I had met her so far up in Washington in my first week on the trail, and we had hiked together since then on and off since the end of Oregon. I had spent more time with her than anyone else on the trail, and it made me sad to have that trail companionship end. I ended up visiting her after the trail in Colorado, though, so it wasn't the last time we would ever see each other.

I got to the highway to Big Bear mid-afternoon, and was able to get a quick hitch into town. There wasn't a lot of traffic, but the first car I saw stopped for me. He was a nice guy who was in town for work, but all of his co-workers were just sitting around drinking all day and he was tired of it so he was headed back to the hotel. He hadn't ever picked up a hitchhiker, and was excited to talk about the PCT he had just been telling his young daughter about it recently.

I got to DOCK's place, which was actually Papa Smurf's and Mountain Mama's place, two well-known trail angels. DOCK and I went out to get Indian food, and I was so happy. I was the only hiker there, so I got the attention of the 3(!) dogs in the house all to myself.

cuddling with dogs on the couch
Oh I guess I can never get up ever again oh no

I found out Big Tex was over in Big Bear Lake a little ways down the highway, so DOCK and I went to meet up with him and his dad to hang out for a while. I had decided to take a zero the next day, and I ended the day with a nice cup of tea and conversation with DOCK.

vegan donuts
Also, vegan mini-donuts

The next day, DOCK made hummus and we made tofu curry together, and it was awesome to eat some home-cooked food and use a kitchen again for the first time in forever. I'd never been a huge fan of cooking at home, but when you don't even have the option to use a real kitchen for months on end, you start to miss just being able to. Ctrl+Z and Katie had made it later that evening and also decided to stay a night, and helped us finish the huge pot of curry.

cooking curry
I missed cooking and the smells of food cooking

I genuinely didn't think I'd be taking another zero. I knew I wouldn't be leaving early, but I thought I'd be leaving. Well, that sure didn't happen. There was an upcoming 12-mile section along Mission Creek DOCK had told me all about, and I was well-aware it was littered with washouts and was extremely difficult to follow. I sure wasn't going to do that in the dark, so I knew exactly where I'd be stopping for the night if I left that day.

Long story short, I decided to stay one more night and DOCK agreed to drive me back to the trail very early the next morning. Like 6:00 AM early. But I got to sleep indoors, and that was alright by me.

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