Made it to Idyllwild for our next resupply. It was a great 70 mi since Warner Springs with lots of surprises. We left Warner Springs community center on Friday afternoon and on the way out of town stopped at the farmers Market and picked up some fresh snap peas which were a great snack break later down the trail. On the way out of town we passed through a field with horses hanging out next to the trail and had to be a little cautious as we passed. We quickly pushed up to the ridge to catch the sunset as we did a video recap of our trip so far. we hiked a little further into the night sky. as we were getting tired we turned the corner into a giant boulder field that was lit up by the shining moon. we found some small sandy spots among the boulders and made some hot tea before falling asleep under the stars.
The next morning we moseyed 3mi to the next water, which turned out to be trail angel Mike’s place. It was a small cabin just off the trail with water, soda and beer. There was a nice patio with lots of shade to chill for the day. We decided we would hang out there until the heat of the day passed. Hiking in the middle of the day is just brutal and the hot sun drains you so fast that we avoid it and hike at night when we need to carry much less water and can hike at a comfortable temperature. Mike’s was great. We hung out with a few other hikers, cooked food, napped, and even played a game of horseshoes. It was a little paradise in the middle of the desert. That evening we hiked out with Joe and Rowen into the night, along the way we took a break and watched the moon rise over the mountains and light up the terrain. We switched off our headlamps and continued on.
In the morning Colin and I got an early start to try and get to the next water source at Paradise Valley Cafe before it got too hot, about 12 miles away. We didn’t quite beat the heat as we rolled in around 1 but it was a great spot to sit back and relax. We had a great burger and lots of water, then napped in the shade outside. We were pretty tired when we left so we just did another 3 miles before cowboy camping at a nice boulder lookout.
We had a long 12 miles to the next water in the morning and it got hot fast and it was all up hill. We reached the water around noon where we met the wild boys, two brothers who are hiking the trail and mostly living off the land. When we ran into them they were cooking a rattlesnake that they had just killed. We hung out with them for a bit as they talked about all the plants they had been eating along the way and then they shared some of the rattlesnake with us.
It was pretty good, a little rubbery but well seasoned. as we were leaving they cut off a piece of the skin for us to make bracelets out of. It was a great experience and after relaxing a bit in the shade and making some food we got back on the trail. It was a little bit of a later start then we wanted, 6:45, but we pushed uphill in the night reaching the ridge at 8,000ft we had a great view of the sprawled community of palm and desert springs. The towns lit up the valley surrounded by the dark looming mountains. We did about 10 miles that night for a 22 mi day, our longest so far.
This morning we took a side trail that dropped us down 2,000 ft into the town of Idyllwild where we are going to stock back up on food before getting back on the trail tonight.