Friday, May 4, 2012

4 May - Day 14 - Wind in the San Jacintos

From Paradise Valley Cafe (Mile 151.9) to Fobes Ranch Trail Junction (Mile 166.5). 15.6 trail miles.
Charles here. Despite Sean's shin splints, he insists on having us move on up into the San Jacinto range. We take it easy ~ but it ends up being a long day.

It starts off moving from the scrub oak and live oak foothills lower down up into pine trees of several types.

We see two types of Pinyon Pine, then Coulter Pine, then Jeffrey Pine, Sugar Pine, White Fir, and on. It is a delight -- and the trail is dramatic as it climbs the windy ridges higher and higher through manzanita.

See the Trail behind us cutting across below the ridge?

We oooh and ahhh. But the shooting pains in Sean's leg slow him down, though he says very little in complaint. The wind picks up mightily up here. The views are astonishing.

But we are running out of water. So Christo and I hightail it down Apache Spring trail (ugh) to get some water -- but the spring is such a dribble we barely squeeze a liter out of it. Looks like dry camping tonight.

All the camping areas are taken by the time we stumble in so it's on and on into the dusk. For Sean, I'm sure it was the "Shin Splints Death March of Hell" as we move forward. But we find camping spots -- and I cook up a quick dinner trying to shelter from the 40-mile per hour winds buffeting the oak trees we're sheltered under and behind.

A shaky night for us all. Hard going. But tomorrow we will arrive in Idyllwild where we will take a zero day to let Sean's leg rest, and where we'll find out what is best to do for shin splints when you're long distance hiking. Sean's grateful for the percocets I brought along. They made the difference for him.

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