Day 13 – Mile 187.5-206.8

Elevation gain: 519 ft

Elevation loss: 7,964 ft (are u kidding me??)

Since we have never camped on snow before, we didn’t know what to expect. The main thing we noticed was that our hips felt like we were lying on an ice pack when we were on our sides even though we weren’t actually touching the snow. I’m sure it’s because our sleeping mattress is rated for 3 seasons, not actually for winter snow. So we grabbed our sit pads (these go against our backs on the packs which are removable to use easily when stopped for lunch or at camp…those rocks are hard sometimes! 😜). We slid the pads between the bottom of the tent and the sleeping mattress, plus I put my rain pants over my wool sleeping pants. This really seemed to help and we were pretty warm the rest of the night. Since we were up at 6am in order to get home ASAP, we got to see our first sunrise…gorgeous!

Our socks had been soaking wet the night before after hiking in snow all day, so we knew they would be unwearable this morning…that’s an understatement! Good thing we always have 2 pairs.

Poor Brian has been thrashing his thumbs between the dry air and using his thumbs as tools around camp. Fun fact: when putting tent stakes in soft snow, it turns into blocks of ice overnight making retrieving them pretty darn difficult!Good thing our Deuce (trowel for use when going #2…sorry if that’s TMI) is sturdy and was able to help dig them out. So we had a quick first aid session before heading onto the trail at 7:20am.

We expected to be walking in MORE freaking snow for the first 3 miles probably, but instead we had micro spikes on for 4 miles! It wasn’t until we hit 7,400 ft that we were able to take them off…it was 10:00am already. At least the snow is icy hard in the morning so we weren’t slipping around and post holeing, but I was still SUPER over the snow 😡

Since yesterday was such a disaster, mileage-wise, we ended up having 19.3 miles and a BOATLOAD of elevation loss today. We were super anxious to get to Cabazon since our friends, PK and George were picking us up at 3:30 to bring us home…seeing our kids, dog, and lying on the couch was REALLY calling our name! We didn’t take one break and literally walked as fast as possible the entire 19.3 miles. I felt slightly out of control at times, but we just had to get there!

Part of the day we were able to see San Gorgonio and Mt Baldy on the horizon which are both in our near future. I was hoping a lot of the snow would melt by then, but a new storm is brewing this week so that may be a pipe dream, unfortunately.

Then…we reached 200 miles! Woohoo!

We had heard other hikers seeing Horny Toad lizards on the trail, but we hadn’t yet until today. Crazy how well they are camouflaged!

After 18.3 miles, we reached the road hoping to be done walking for the day, yet had a mile road walk to go first…ugh!

At 3:45 we finally reached our lovely trail angels…PK and George! So amazing that they drove 1.75 hrs just to pick us up and drive us home…and to our surprise, had a bunch of treats in the car for us too! PK knows I love Diet Coke so she had that, water, turkey sandwich fixings, fruit, chips, cookies, I could go on and on! I’m sure they appreciated us changing into our sleep clothes which aren’t nearly as stinky as clothing that’s been worn for 8 days straight. 🤢 So fun to be able to catch up with them while sitting in a comfy seat…thanks guys!

So now we are home, showered with every possible lovely smelling soap and lotion that I own, reuniting with our kids and pup. Bri’s shin (specifically his Anterior Tibialis) has been bugging him the last week so a little rest and recuperating for a few days will be lovely, but FIRST I’m going to eat these homemade bagels that my friend Joanne made us…these will be gone in a matter of minutes! Thanks so much Joey, you are a genius in the kitchen!! It’s perfect timing since I lost 6 lbs and Bri lost 8…not sure what we can do about it, tho. Can’t imagine carrying more food than we already are!

We will post again once we return to the trail…stay safe and healthy, friends! Amy