The fourth week on the Pacific Crest Trail is over and I hiked from Cabazon at Mile 210 till a clearing after Big Bear at Mile 284 . What else happend in PCT Week 4 wou’ll find in this post. If you missed the third week’s contribution, here’s the link to the blogpost: PCT Week 3.
Map – Pacific Crest Trail Week 4
- Distance 113.77 km
- Time 28 h 26 min
- Speed 4.0 km/h
- Min altitude 450 m
- Peak 2666 m
- Climb 4410 m
- Descent 2696 m
Day 22: Direction Whitewater River
Day: April 26th 2019
Distance: 12 mi, 19,2 km
Accumulated: 222.1 mi, 355.4 km
It starts early in the morning. The temperatures are rising rapidly and already around 9:30 a.m. it is almost impossible to continue. A short break behind a small bush in the shade helps to recharge our batteries. Since my water reserves are running low quickly, I have to continue towards Whitewater River.
1:00 p.m. I reach totally exhausted the only tree in the vicinity of miles. Nils (Trailname: The Oilking) lies under the tree and sleeps. I pack myself in and immediately fall asleep in the cool shade of the tree.
Around 4:00 p.m. I’m getting ready. Nils already moved on around 3:00 p.m. I arrive at the Whitewater River, fill my water bottles and see Nils coming around the corner. He got lost and walked up another mountain for an hour. Completely exhausted he sits down and tells what happened. His GPS on the phone didn’t work properly.
I take the opportunity of the Whitewater River and lie down in the cold water. The current is so strong that the dirt is washed off the skin almost by itself. At the same time there is no danger of being dragged along by the current. Optimal conditions. Afterwards we continue 2 miles to a campground. We meet Lila and Débo and are too lazy to set up our tents. Cowboycamping’s on again.
Day 23: The “Mission Creek” Chaos
Day: April 27th 2019
Distance: 13,4 mi, 21,4 km
Accumulated: 235.5 mi, 376.8 km
In 2018 a mudslide destroyed large parts of the PCT at the Whitewater Reservoir, so that the trail can only be guessed at in a few places. Actually, it only goes ahead with GPS. Until lunch break we cross smaller branches of the river several times and fight our way forward.
A lunch break in the shade of trees ensures that everyone falls asleep immediately. Nils wakes up after an hour and wants to go to the backpacks to get some food. The backpacks are three meters from us. What we have not noticed while sleeping is the rattlesnake that has joined us.
Nils almost steps on it, but the rattlesnake doesn’t move. She is deeply relaxed and enjoys our company. We can’t do anything but the same thing. Lunch with a rattlesnake as guest.
Afterwards we continue and I get lost shortly before the camp spot in the Missions Creek Labyrinth. After adjusting my GPS I see that I have lost my way, fill up my water bottles at the river and return to the trail. I meet Lila and we walk together to the camp spot where the others are already waiting. It’s cowboycamping again and I fall asleep exhausted but happy under a big tree with a view into the starry sky.
Day 24: The dream of good food
Day: April 28th 2019
Distance: 17,6 mi, 28,16 km
Accumulated: 253.1 mi, 404.96 km
The morning starts with a strong ascent of almost 2,000 feet (610 meters) and it mainly goes through burnt forests. I listen to the audio book Kangaroo Chronicles throughout the day and am happy and exhausted in the evening.
In the camp spot we sit cooking together and dream of good food, which we will prepare in Big Bear. Only healthy, fresh food and everyone makes suggestions about what we will buy. No protein bars, Snickers and Alfredo dry pasta from Knorr… right, genuine and healthy food. I fall asleep with a smile and a slight growl in my stomach.
Day 24: Arrival at Big Bear
Day: April 29th 2019
Distance: 13 mi, 20,8 km
Accumulated: 266.1 mi, 425.76 km
Today is a comparatively easy day with 13 miles on the program, as it is only downhill. Afterwards it goes to Big Bear with rest day.
After a few miles however it starts to hail quite strongly and I slip as fast as possible into my rain gear. I’m trying to walk faster because the storm is right above me. A thick thunder echoes down beside me and the lightning strike could not have been far away.
I finally arrive at Highway 18 towards Big Bear and four of us hitchhike with a nice lady to Big Bear. In Big Bear is fog and 1°C (33,8°F)… It is already late and we rent a Cabin over Airbnb. Then we go to the next Mexican Restaurant to eat and replenish the lost calories. I have a fat avocado burrito and a huge beer – again among the living Yiiiihaaaaa.
Day 26: Only good food on the table
Day: April 30th 2019
Distance: 0 mi, 0 km
Accumulated: 266.1 mi, 425.76 km
The next morning we all go shopping. Supplies for the next 5 days and fresh food to cook. Only the best comes out of the table today.
Débo makes shakshuka for breakfast, a speciality of North African and Israeli cuisine consisting of tomatoes, peppers and eggs. Then French crépe with Nutella, peanut butter and raspberry jam. For dinner Lila prepares fettuccine with tomatoes, feta, basil and pepperonis, Nils makes rice with beans and I create a Greek salad. The party can begin and for dinner Sarah and Jess will join us. Nobody can walk after dinner.
Day 27: Laundry and Relax at Big Bear Lake
Day: May 1st 2019
Distance: 1 mi, 1,6 km
Accumulated: 268.1 mi, 428.96 km
We have to check out 11:00 a.m. and are still all full of dinner. I’m on my way to the laundromat. Afterwards we will have breakfast at the Grizzly Manor Café and relax at the Big Bear Lake.
Around 4:00 p.m. we hitchhike back to Highway 18 and walk another relaxed mile on the trail to the next camp spot.
Day 28: A loud growl
Day: May 2nd 2019
Distance: 15,9 mi, 25,4 km
Accumulated: 284 mi, 454,4km
We continue along Big Bear Lake through beautiful nature to a camp spot where you can see a beautiful sunset. I cook Teriyaki dry pasta for dinner tonight and am satisfied with the result.
In the middle of the night I wake up, when Nils calls “Go Away” I ask if everything is alright. Something big growling is sitting in front of his tent. We decide to talk loudly from our tents and hope that the animal disappears again. It must have smelled the food in the tents. I was lucky to hang my food bag in a little tree.
When an animal growls in front of its own tent it is not a nice experience. I had my wild boar experience on the Rheinsteig and I know what goes through your head. At some point we fall asleep again and hope that it was only a coyote that got lost.
The fourth week on the Pacific Crest Trail is over and we’ve been recharging our batteries in Big Bear. Still, the growling of the animal in the camp spot was a little disturbing. Be curious what happens next. Here it goes directly to week 5.
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