Hello everyone back in the civilised world! I am sure you are pleased to know that we are still alive and haven’t fallen off any mountains or eaten by any bears!
First off I am sorry for not providing more regular updates. This has been due to a combination of not having phone reception and simply not having enough time in the day!
We have now been on the trail for 18 days and are really getting into the routine. It has been a baptism of fire though and the trail has already been physically and mentally tougher than can be imagined. We are walking for up to 14 hours a day in temperatures up to 110 degree fahrenheit! The trail often starts off on the desert floor then rises to nearly 9000ft by the end of the day. We normally get up around 5.30am, get dressed and pack up camp. We’ll eat breakfast then start walking around 6.30. Well have a couple of short breaks throughout the day with a slightly longer break at lunchtime. Even during our breaks we have work to do; filtering water, re-taping feet, fixing gear etc. We then continue to walk until around 6-7.30pm until the light starts to fade and we find a camp spot. We then set the tent up and unpack our kit, before filtering more water and cooking some food. Then we fix ourselves by popping blisters, cleaning feet etc. Come 9pm we are in our sleeping bags and heading asleep.
Although we have both been mentally and physically exhausted at the end if most days we have already experienced so many wonderful thing and met loads of great people. The main thing that can be said about our first 266 miles (10%
If the entire trail!) is just how varied it is!
Before starting the trail I knew the desert section would cross several mountain ranges. But each day brings us something new. We have experienced desert, mountains, forests and everything inbetween. It has been sunny, rainy and we even had some snow up high on San Jacinto.
The people we have met have been great. Our fellow hikers are all friendly and welcoming, and the same can be said for the locals we have met. Everyone have been so supportive of what we are trying to do. A special mention should go to the wonderful people who are trail angels. These people are literally angels and give up their time, money and effort to really help and support all us hikers out here. They are so welcoming and friendly and some of then literally turn their home over to stinky hikers! We have been offered food, shelter and even foot soaks which really helps to lift the spirit after a hard few days.
Despite some very tough days we are relatively unscathed. Sarah has been suffering with a number of blisters. My feet have behaved themselves very well and I have only had a single blister. We have both been attacked by bees though which wasn’t nice. Sarah got stung at mile 10 and I got stung a few days ago. The stupid bees build their hives right next to the trail, then swarm and go crazy when anyone walks past! But other than that we are doing pretty good. We are in good spirits and are physically getting stronger. We are now getting clean in Big Bear Lake, resupplying and getting ready to head out again tomorrow morning.
I will try and update as often as possible, but unfortunately this hiking malarky takes up a lot more time than you would think!