April 28, 2016: Well, the rain held off during the night, but started to come in today. The morning started off cool and misty — just like the great Northwest. I was at home! After days in the scorching sun, the misty, foggy morning felt so good, and made the mountains mysterious and beautiful. Flowers seemed more vibrant.
Despite the sign seen the day before warning how the locals around the area were not friendly to hikers, Woodchuck and I came across the most amazing water cache and rest stop, complete with a book borrow, fruit, water (of course) and a surf board to sign. We signed and regretted we hadn’t camped here the night before — it had been so close!
Woodchuck and I parted ways as I wanted to make my way to the fabled “Paradise Cafe.” Due to the Mountain Fire closure, hikers have two choices going into Idyllwild — hitch from Paradise Cafe or hike an alternate route down to Idyllwild. Most take the hitch — and I would too. But, as usual, looking forward to a big breakfast at the Cafe.
Almost didn’t want to come down out of the misty mountains — it was such a glorious morning. However, when I arrived at the Cafe, the rain had really set in. I was a bit soaked, and more than happy for the warmth and friendly faces that greeted me there. Pine was there, soon followed by Woodchuck and Norbert. Despite the time being beyond breakfast, the owner still served me breakfast 🙂 Yeah!
Pine and I set off to get our hitch into town. Nobody actually stuck his leg out on the corner — hilarious! Will never forget the image as he said “Hey, that’s actually really cold!” Pine and I were picked up by a local marijuana farmer (who was, contary, again, to the sign the previous day) very friendly — growing for a medical company. He knew all of the local sights and pointed them out as we traveled back up into the mountains to Idyllwild. He dropped us off about 5 miles out of the town, which put me in a pinch, as I needed to pick up my resupply box and new pack at the post office before it closed.
Lucky for us, a wonderful woman pulled over to offer us a ride — she was headed into the post office, but had to find one of her three dogs who had jumped out the car after a squirrel. We drove around for a while, and found the dog, and Woodchuck! Woodchuck and the dog aboard, we headed to the post office.
Got my packages, and headed to the cabin I had already booked. Saw Jameson, and so many others, including Vivian and Luis, Serenity, just so many others — apparently Idyllwild was a hard place to get away from :).
Found Norbert looking for a room on the way to the cabin, and he and Pine shared the cabin. We were all happy to have a warm place to sleep along with interesting 1980’s movies to watch.
We did laundry and there was a scale at the laundrymat. Big mistake getting on it! I was distressed to learn I had already dropped 10lbs! Couldn’t lose much more before I wouldn’t be able to lift my pack! Did my best to gain some back by joining Greg, Norbert and Pine for some Mexican food….
Decided I needed to take the next day in town to get some resupply and errands done, so booked for another night. Maybe Idyllwild would be a hard place for me to leave too. My foot, by this point was killing me, but I thought a few days rest may be the answer. It was so nice to drift off on a nice bed for a night.
Miles: approx. 8.83
Elevation gain/loss: 1492/-879ft.