April 29 & 30, 2016: Pine left the morning of the 30th — having completed his section hike, his mom picked him up, poodle in tow, to drive him back home. Norbert stayed another night , but planned to and did leave the trail for a visit with family in L.A. bfor picking up the trail again in a few weeks. I rebuilt my pack, putting the pockets, hipbelt and shock cord from the old onto the new and then went shopping for a resupply. I was still hobbling around – my foot in no shape to begin the ascent up the Devil’s Slide Trail back to the PCT.
Had to find a new room for the next night and Greg helped tremendously by introducing me to the proprietor of his cabin (the proud owner of the bulldog pictured below) who arranged lodging for me at another cabin that I shared with Jameson. Homeless hikers taking care of homeless hikers. Lodging secured in this busy little town, I set off to mail back my old pack, and another trail angel was handing out cookies to us hikers. Met another hiker raising money for homeless pets and finding a home for a beautiful dog left stranded by his owner. Luckily, she had a lot of interest from the locals for this sweet big dog.
The night was filled with live music at the wine bar in town and meeting so many hikers and getting our pictures taken at the local pizza place. Jameson had been in town for a week, and we joked that he was about to buy realestate there. Convinced him that it really was time to try to hike out , my foot and his ankle notwithstanding — the vortex was truly sucking us all in.
Said goodbye to Norbert the next morning, some last minute resupply and spent a restful evening watching Hunger Games with Jameson until the power went out. No problem — we are hikers with headlamps! Went to bed early and prepared for the climb out of town the next day – up the highest mountain in Southern California – San Jacinto.