Day 11 Idyllwild to Camping spot at PCT mile 190.1
4.8 (Deer Springs Trail) plus 7.1 plus a billion miles wandering town
I have it on good authority (fb) that there is an amazing natural food shop with a cafe that makes magical smoothies in Idyllwild. Smoothies that make all your aches and pains go away, your tummy sing contentedly and rainbows sprout out of your ears. I think I *may* have built them up to be more than they are, but I have been suffering severe green withdrawal and cravings and need to get all the green things in me!
So I wake up excited about my smoothie, go the wrong way in town, eventually discover the magic shop only to find the cafe closed. NOOOOOOO!!! 😣😣 My one chance for good brekkie on the trail and it’s not open. It takes all my willpower not to throw myself on the floor and chuck a tantrum.
Instead I buy a bunch of bars and a coconut coffee thing (not even any green juices!!!) and head towards a coffee shop that is advertising fresh fruit smoothies out the front. It turns out “fresh fruit smoothie” actually means “milky coffee drink with a banana chucked in”. BOO! I sulk my way back up the hill to the hotel. Not happy Jan.
We piece together all our things and stuff them away, load up on water and head out up the hill.
The trail back to the PCT is very up. Lots of up. Steep up. But the air crisp and we have fresh legs so it’s a nice climb. The fog is set in thickly, so at times I only have about 10m visibility. It’s beautiful, a little eerie and quiet and would be a fantastic setting for filming. A group of guys appears out of the fog wearing and carrying go-pros and creating some kind of film. Who’d’ve thunk it?
It’s a thigh burning, heart starting climb but I’m loving it. Stopping too often for the perfect “tree in fog” photo.
Suddenly the fog dissipates and I can see a blue blue sky. I’m on top of the fog, on top of the clouds. In a whole new world with giant trees and stillness and clouds I want to jump on and swim in. I look around for Moon Face and The Saucepan Man and Mr Whatsizname because I’m sure I’ve climbed to the top of the faraway tree. The Land Of The Long Long Smelly Walkers.
There are patches of snow to crunch through and many boulders to sit on. At lunchtime we find a magical view of the ocean of cloud below us with a little island of mountain peaks sneaking through.
I refill my water from a delicious cold mountain stream and hike until all the up is hiked out of me, and we’ve started on the down.
It gets brrrr cold quickly as the sun disappears and the fog rolls in again. I snuggle down into my tent and let my quilt fluff up around me, pull my beanie over my ears and let sleep do it’s thing.
“It is better to have your head in the clouds, and know where you are… than to breathe the clearer atmosphere below them, and think that you are in paradise.” Thoreau