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Day 16

Day 16

Distance hiked today: 13.5 miles / 21.7 km.

I have yet to sleep through an entire night - I usually wake up multiple times, either disturbed by the wind, to reposition on my sleep pad, to put on another layer if I'm cold, or just because… I'm sleeping on the ground. When cowboy camping at least I can look at the stars while I try to fall back asleep. There was a breeze, and I sinched my sleeping bag hood so there was only a small hole to breathe through, facing my back to the wind. I slept quite well overall though, with no tent flapping around. But it's still never fully comfortable.

Today we hiked through patches of snow, still not melted from winter. It was mostly uphill, a steep ascent towards the base of Mt San Jacinto. The elevation made the air a bit thinner and it seemed like more of a struggle than usual. We climbed over huge blown down trees, over ridges, and through forest. It was probably the most scenic day on trail so far, with wide views, rock walls, burnt trees, and big old growth. We spotted footprints of a large cat in the snow, but haven't seen the cat.

We chose a campsite with a view, and ate dinner together with a couple other hikers in the campsite. We share snacks and trade food. We watched the sun go down, and the lights of Idyllwild below, while deciding what time to be on trail tomorrow for optimal snow conditions on the mountain. Everyone retires to bed before 8pm - it gets too cold once the sun goes down.

Total trail mileage: 182.7 miles / 294 km

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