The wind was so loud on my tent that I woke up at 3am. I could tell the main stake holding up my tent pole was getting wobbly so I got out and restaked it. The pole still fell on me at 5am, but luckily I was still awake to fix it right away! I used the snow stake I carry as a trowel to restake it that time and it didn’t budge the rest of the night, although my other stakes continued to loosen. I carry thin titanium stakes for the low weight but they are apparently not good in sand with wind. Will I get beefier stakes? Probably not. I will use more rocks to hold things down.

In addition to the wind flapping my tent all over, it blew tons of sand into my tent. Yes, through the mesh. And the fine sand that can fit through mesh is hard to brush off of things. I was so annoyed, I just huddled in my quilt until 6:30, when I finally had enough.

It was only three miles to the road to Paradise Cafe, a restaurant that is very friendly to hikers and lets us fill up on water there. They offer free rides for the one mile to the restaurant but I called just as they were opening and no one was available yet. Then it took me half an hour to get a ride. I feel like I’ve lost my hitching mojo. Tons of people drove by, and it was only after I’d turned and started walking that someone stopped. I never had to wait that long on the AT.

When I got down to the cafe, I ordered an omelette, which was gigantic and came with hash browns and toast, some fruit, and a milkshake. I actually had a hard time finishing the omelette and then I didn’t get hungry again until 4pm. Fantastic meal!

I hitched back to the trail with another girl and it didn’t take quite as long. A guy who was bringing his dog for a hike there any way picked us up, then hiked in with us a ways. Most of the rest of the day was up, up, up.

I hit the Mountain Fire trail closure today. The fire was actually in 2013 but the trail is not repaired yet and apparently parts of it are just missing and totally unsafe. Halfmile provides a great detour map that I’m following instead. It ends up being a few more miles than the PCT would have been, but it goes right through Idyllwild. So that means I can take a shower tomorrow!

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The detour goes down the Cedar Spring Trail on some very tight switchbacks so I quickly lost much of the elevation I’d gained. There was a green oasis towards the bottom, with lots of large trees and even a couple of picnic tables. It was tempting to camp there but I just cooked dinner and then moved on a few more miles. 16.2 miles today.

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Written by Siren

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