Mile 193 to Ziggy and the Bear’s, 17 miles
Cost: cowboy camped in Ziggy and the Bear’s backyard, donation
Today (not) in a nutshell:
The wind howled and whipped my tent all night and the rain came down in bucket loads. Eeyore was the first up and reported that he could see the sun rising and blue skies. Sun and blue skies was a welcome relief as I had a plastic bag beside me in the tent full of my soaking wet clothes from yesterday!
I waited until about 7:30am to get up and set about hanging all of my wet clothes on trees facing the sun. My pack which I had wrapped in a trash compactor bag and left outside my tent was sopping wet with water leaking from the hip belt pockets! I waited until 9:30am and by this time I was able to put my still wet but not soaking hiking clothes back on. Everything else that was still wet got hung on the outside of my pack (2 pairs of gloves, 2 pairs of socks, towel, beanie, buff, underpants). My tent and sleeping bag would need to be aired the first chance I had in the hot sun.
Rohan also left before me and while I was sitting in the sun all alone waiting for my clothes to dry, I had a few moments with a couple of hummingbirds buzzing around my head and then on the trees next to me. I love hummingbirds.
It was a long day descending 6000 feet off San Jacinto on never-ending switchback trails. The path was eroded in places with a lot of debris and I wondered if a lot of this was to do with the storms over the past 2 days.
I saw helicopters which I later found out were search and rescue teams and I really hoped whoever they were looking for was ok.
I also saw dozens of chipmunks, hummingbirds, lizards, 3 snakes (including one that was lying across my path). I took my first tumble while admiring a hummingbird and ended up with a few scratches on my leg, nothing serious, but I generally found the entire day descending the mountain then walking the last few miles to Ziggy and the Bear’s against the wind, through sand and under the highway, a very mentally hard day.
I wasn’t going to be beaten. I was feeling sorry for myself but more determined than ever.
When I finally arrived at Ziggy and the Bear’s (trail angels who open their house to PCT hikers for overnight stays), it was lovely to see friendly and familiar faces. I caught up with “Feed me” & “Metric” who I hadn’t seen since Scout & Frodo’s, Rohan and a whole bunch of new hikers.
Ziggy signed me in then showed me where to shower, wash clothes, the hiker box (full of stuff that hikers leave behind), gave me a Gatorade courtesy of the local police department and then I was able to relax on their couch in the background. It was bliss.
The local sheriff came over to make sure we were all ok and talked about the 4 or 5 hikers they had rescued off the mountain through the storm. There was a hiker (thought to be a day hiker) still missing.
Ziggy offered us pizza and icecream which went down a treat for dinner then we all laid down to sleep in their backyard under the stars.
Thank you Ziggy and the Bear for what you do for PCT hikers, you were my guardian angels today xx