PCT Day 25: Mile 240-253 Zoo



Every ounce counts

It’s a funny thing to think about cutting your toothbrush in half, or only carrying 2 pairs of underwear . . . but all those little things start to add up.

I realized it when Nick accidentally brought a car camping tent instead of my 2 man backpacking tent for Izzie and I to use. Honest and easy mistake, especially when so many other things were being stuffed in the car (and the tents are the same color). My point is simply the weight difference in the tents (I ended up borrowing Sam’s car camping tent) really seemed to make an impact. I felt the weight on my back, so bad it started to cut into my hipbones. First time I had that issue in 240 miles.

Aside from me crying about gear weight, it was an awesome day! We woke, and had a pretty lax morning, getting on the trail after 8. I was happy to get moving and we pushed over the first hill. We wandered through the San Bernadino Mountains switchbacking up a ridge and down the other side. Every time we came close to the west end of a ridge we could see the snow capped San Gorgonio staring at us. As we neared the east side of the ridge, Palm Springs and the desert to its north came into view. Happy we weren’t down in the 100 degree desert heat, we hiked on.

San Gorgonio
Izzie trekking on, the desert in the distance.

After a few miles of beautiful mountains we came across an animal cage. It house 2 grizzly bears and a tiger. It stated on the map notes that they were used for films. A strange find in the middle of nowhere. We peered in, the 2 grizz paced back and forth, needing a larger space. The tiger lounged around, not looking too bothered.

Yup, that’s a grizz!

Tiger sniffing the air

We pressed on, up the next ridge, and the pines began to change. Huge Junipers began to come into view, they were great and massive with red shredded bark and dark green leaves. Then we started to notice the mistletoe in the branches. Izzie told me it was a parasitic plant and that it would take over the tree by transferring its seeds through an explosive expulsion which just spread to other surrounding trees. I could imagine it eventually taking over.

Twisted junipers

Mistletoe taking over

Finally after a long day carrying a full resupply and a little extra weight we found ourselves at camp. We set up, and enjoyed the remaining sunlight before crashing out like tranquelized wildebeests. A really good but tiring day.

Hiker Profile:

Greyscale (Walter) & Mayo (Emily): A couple who lived in Sweden, but came out for the PCT. Mayo was originially from Cali, but now lives in Sweden happily with Greyscale. It was her dream to trek the trail, and Greyscale came for support. He started with her in Campo Ca and would continue until Big Bear where he would fly home and Mayo would continue on to hopefully finish the trail.