Hello from Idyllwild!

I know I’m supposed to be hiking but town drew me in again. So far I’ve walked 180+ miles, stopped in five “towns”, eaten seven free meals provided by “trail angels”, and worn through 13 blisters.

Before the trail I must have tried on at least twenty pairs of shoes before finding one that fit well. I’ve got princess feet that are very picky about their slippers. Today, I tried on all five pairs of hiking shoes in town. Each and every one seemed like heaven compared with what I had on this morning. Funny thing is that I’d already tried on many of those same models and dismissed them as uncomfortable. But now my abused feet are happy in a new pair of Solomon’s and Superfeet. Pricy but that’s ok because I’m staying in the $3 campground instead of the $20 hotel. Sadly they probably just spell b-l-i-s-t-e-r-s in a new way. Who would have throught that a thru-hike would be hard on the feet?

The trail has been wonderful regardless. I love the sense of passing over the landscape, over mountains and basins, heading north. I’ve walked the hills of the border region, the Laguna Mountains, the San Felipe Hills, the mountains around Anza-Borego State Park, and a solid half of the San Jacinto Mountains (the first “real” mountains of the trip.) The trail seems to be pushing us all north, focusing on that border, the next town or milepoint. I feel this too but I’m trying hard to “be here now”. Here, always seems to be so worth it.

At the “Hiker’s Oasis” water cache register I was hiker number 130 something to pass through this season. At the time that seemed like a lot considering that I left early from the kick off and haven’t been particularly slow. Digesting it a little, I think that I’m still in the front middle of the pack.

Tomorrow, I’m off to summit San Jacinto and maybe do Fuller Ridge Then it’s on the Big Bear, Wrightwood and the real desert. ta-ta!


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