May 2, 2017
Doble Trail Camp – Mile 289.94 (268.62 – 289.94)
I slept well last night. It wasn’t too cold and the night was calm. It was still painful to have to stuff away my quilt in the morning. I was out and hiking just before 6:30.
Rocky trail this morning
The day started out with an immediate 1000 foot climb. It wasn’t too bad because it was mostly on gradual switchbacks, but it definitely got the blood pumping to start the day. A few miles into the day, I found a nice view to sit and eat my second breakfast. Breakfast today was on another level. I soaked bananas and cream flavoured oats overnight, then at my break I mixed in peanut butter and slices of REAL BANANA that I packed out from town. It was sooo good. I had my coffee shake afterwards too.
The morning was mostly spent walking through a low, open pine forest, with not much in the way of views. It was okay though, sometimes it’s nice to just walk through a peaceful forest. The sun-baked pine needles smelled amazing. I leap frogged all day with everyone from camp (Gummies, Cougar, Dr. McDirty, Yard Sale, Bandit, and Metric) plus a couple of new people. I listened to the entire soundtrack of Hamilton on my phone to help pass the day. I was thinking a lot about how simple life is out here, and how much I love it. I wake up in the morning and start walking. I stop and eat when I get hungry. At the end of the day I find a patch of ground to call my bed for the night. The simplest pleasures are so sweet out here. It’s amazing. We ended up getting a really good view of Big Bear Lake and the snow-capped mountains above, which was pretty cool. We’re in the section of trail where we head west for a while, so we followed the ridge across from Big Bear for a while. I stopped to have lunch in a nice shady spot. I had a tortilla filled with cheese and an entire fresh avocado, aka a burrito of fats. It was amazing.
View of Big Bear Lake!
A while after lunch, the forest abruptly ended and we came out into a burn area. We got an amazing view of the hills and mountains ahead, including a large snow-capped peak that we thought might have been Mount Baden-Powell but now I’m thinking it’s probably Mount Baldy. The hills in the burn area looked like someone had scattered them with toothpicks, because of all the fallen trees.
Without the shade of the pines, the day immediately became very hot. There were also a lot of fallen trees to climb over. When I made it to Little Bear Spring Trail Camp, I got to use the privy. Pooping in a toilet twice in one day, pretty luxurious. We stopped at nearby Holcomb Creek to gather some water, and then I sat in the shade and ate an apple I brought from town. It was sooo good. Today I had a banana, avocado, AND an apple. Three pieces of fresh produce in one day, my body is definitely happy with me.
Our planned camp spot was about four miles from the creek, and it felt like a pretty long four miles. It was hot, and we were still in the burn area so we were totally exposed. The landscape did start to change to more of a boulder field look, which I always enjoy. When Gummies and I arrived at the campsite, we were surprised to find no one there. We had been leap frogging with so many people, we were concerned it would end up being another tent tetris night. We set up, and a bunch of people passed by but no one had been planning to camp here. A little while later, Cougar and Dr. McDirty showed up, which made me very happy since I hadn’t seen them since their lunch break.
The four of us have this awesome campsite all to ourselves. We’re perched at a high point in the boulder field, with good views of the hills all around and the mountains off in the distance. We cooked our dinners, and I sliced some of my real cheddar cheese into my taco rice. Definitely one of my greatest food ideas yet. Hiker hunger is definitely here. I feel like I could eat the entire contents of my food bag and still not be full. As we sat around camp, we started planning out what we’re going to eat when we get to town, which is kind of bad because we’ve only really been out of town one day.
Sunset from camp
We got an amazing desert sunset over the mountains in the distance. It was beautiful. Sunrise should be pretty good tomorrow too. Tomorrow we’ll hit the 300 mile marker, and pass by Deep Creek Hot Springs, so there’ll be a bit of excitement. Today was my longest mile day on the trail yet, so I’m pretty sleepy. Good night!