I’m use to waking up before everyone, but this time was a little different. This time Second Chance Hiker was awake and packed before I even got up.
As I packed and ate my breakfast he and I talked about the upcoming miles and that we will be hitting the 300 mile mark today.
We both agreed that getting to that point together as two big guys would be incredible. So we hiked together for the day.
We find ourselves hiking out of the forest yet again to be back in the desert. It is a mental trip to change biomes to frequently, one day we are in the desert, dry and hot surrounded by cactus and rocks and then the next day to be in pine trees with snow.
As fast as we ascended into Big Bear we are descending back to the harsh landscape thousands of feet below.
Quickly the pine trees vanish into the past and are replaced with Yucca plants.
About 4 more miles and we arrive to a day hiking location called Splinters Cabin. Just outside the location we are greeted by a bridge, the first real bridge crossing.
We can smell the day hikers in the area, they smell great.
This is an incredible location, wish I took more photos.
There is a huge river flowing under the bridge and thru this entire place. There were shapen rocks stacked up this canyon, almost like the Grand Canyon. Trees growing thru the cracks of the sandstone. I can totally see why someone would want to live here, it was one of the most beautiful desert spots I’ve seen on the trail so far.
Up on top of a clearing was where the cabin once stood, now turned into a picnic area with tables, we took our lunch break and waited for the whole crew to be back together.
300 miles was coming up and we all wanted to cross as a team.
Talked to a few day hikers, that as normal have lots of questions about what we were doing and to tell us how crazy we all were.
The team was together and we pushed on.
Leaving Splinters I noticed that I can now smell day hikers like it’s a super power. I feel like I can smell them a mile out. Deodorant smells amazing.
We made a few more miles and arrived at the 300 mile marker.
It hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns to get to this spot. Life on the trail is hard, very hard. One day you can have the best weather and perfect food in your belly to push super far miles. Then another day you could be sitting in 50mph wind on top of a mountain getting sandblasted and have no other way but to face it and push 6 miles getting pelted by small stones.
Its hard. You earn every sunset and sunrise. You question yourself everyday. You have lots of time to be in your own head and think… that’s all we do. Think and walk.
Its poetic in a way, so simple but so hard.
In these last 300 miles I have learned an incredible amount about who I am mentally and physically. I know what I am capable of and its astounding, and it’s only getting better with every day on the trail.
Never have I been this happy before and never have I been in this much constant pain.
To be out here you must accept that you will always hurt and always be some what uncomfortable and you just need to embrace the suck.
The mental game needs to be strong. This walk will chew you up and the mountains will sap you of what you thought you were. It renews who you are and gives new personas through pain and struggle.
It will tear you down some point… we all have our breaking moments. You just gotta remind yourself why you are out here.
8 more miles needed to be made to get to our next camping location. Deep Creek Hotsprings.
This was a canyon rim walk for many many miles including past the hotsprings.
There are not a lot of photos of this area due to this being a clothing optional spot.
As I arrived into the area there were a lot of day hikers here. Mostly young adults running around naked.
The hotsprings were beautiful. But the amount of trash that was here from the locals that just come and ruin the place was horrible. The site that I decided to cowboy camp in had a ton of trash just thrown all over. About 20 feet up the hill were tons of toilet paper blooms and the area smelt of piss.
We all set up for the night since we arrived here past 6pm. We talked about plans, ate dinner and crashed.