I called Grumpy, a trail Angel whos number I grabbed from Claire before she decided to leave the PCT for a cross country road trip. He answered, his quirky voice said hed be there in 50 minutes and that he would be right on time. I had told Dom and Celia the night before they could catch a ride with me, and Grumpy’s charge to ride was nothing more than a good old fist bump. Very excentric fella, but funny to chat with headed to South Ridge trailhead.
I wanted to touch as much of the PCT as possible so I decided to go up South Ridge to tie in at Mile 178 just after the fire closure. After dropping us as the trailhead he took off. I chatted with Dom and Celia just for a few minutes before they pulled off, I pressed on. The ridge was aweomse and the views were fantastic!
As I rose from the valley, the cross country views just continued to get better! Granite rock faces began to rise and I could see some good areas for climbing potential. Taquiets large grey granite face stood proud from the surrounding pines and I knew there was some good climbing history there. I pressed on firther up the ridge bumping into a few day hikers. Super nice and polite, as everyone in the area seemed to be.
I crossed the plateau, through the pines and found my camp for the night at mile 181. It was only noon, and I wanted to do an alternate route to the peak, so I decided to day hike the 4.5 miles (then back) I would miss by hiking the alternate. What a beautiful route! To my surprise I ran into CrisAnn and Oz, they had pushed up from Idyllwild early in the morning and looked a little frazzled from the push. They delibereated on their plan, so I pressed on with mine.
The trail dipped and twisted around the moutnain with picturesk view after view. At one point it seemed as though I could see LA, if only there was a little less fog!
I pressed on and shortly after seeing a few other PCTers and gathering water, I found the turnoff to San Jacinto Peak, and the turnaround point for my day hike! Whew my feet actually were a little beat. I rested up and headed back to camp. Cooked dinner, stretched out, set up the sleeping bag and clawled inside. Another great day!
Celia + Dom
Dom worked as a software developer, and Celia went to UW for computer science. They decided to take a break and come out for an adventure. When U furst met them in Mount Laguna, they were complaining about too much weight and having troubles on the uphills. Now, after cutting down on uneeded gear, they seem to have found heir rythm, walking together on the trail!
Day Hiker Profile
Pete: 50/60s, trail runner, retired Idyllwild. Cool guy, just out there loving life!