Day 16 – Saturday April 29
Hurkey Creek Park to Idyllwild
PCT Mountain Fire Alternate Route Miles hiked today : 8
Feet Ascended Today: 1500
Feet Descended Today: 500
Current Elevation: 5384
It was a surprisingly windy night last night. When we went to bed it wasn’t windy at all, but the wind really started gusting hard in the middle of the night. I wasn’t especially motivated to stay in bed as the walls of my tent kept hitting me in the face. We were all packed up and hit the trail as a group before 6:30 am.
Today’s walk into Idyllwild consisted primarily of walking along old forest service roads. The walk included a surprising 1,500 feet of elevation gain which I wasn’t exactly prepared for. Still we made good time and after about 6 miles we started descending into Idyllwild. I hiked with the Slo-Bo gang and chatted with Potato Volcano most of the way into town.
The last two miles into town, the route began following various roads and so we had to walk on pavement the rest of the way. The road had no shoulder and it was sometimes a little tricky to avoid traffic. The muscles on the top of my feet were sore from the steep descent and it was slow going. By time I got into town I was hobbling like an old lady. But it made it into town by 10:00 am!
Idyllwild is a cute little town nestled in the mountains. I love this place! The town featured several small restaurants, antique shops, a brewpub, grocery store, and even a decent outfitters. I could easily spend a week-long vacation here. As it was I was grateful to be spending 1.5 days here.
I met up with Halfway and Stefan who were sharing a room at the Idyllwild Inn. I wasn’t able to get a room there as the town was fully booked for the weekend. There seemed to be a convention of elderly motorcyclists as big motorcycles were parked all over town.
I was able to get a spot in the PCT dorm room over at the Silver Pines Lodge, however, and headed over there. The dorm room sleeps 6 people, but was clean and included carpeted flooring, a fake fireplace, and a washroom with a shower. Cool Breeze and Garnet Turtle were already checked in at the dorm room and it was good to see them again.
I went out in search of lunch and ran into the Team Holland boys who I hadn’t seen since the Mt. Laguna Campground. They invited me to join them and we ended up at Tommy’s Kitchen up the street. I treated myself to all you can eat salad at the salad bar. Yay greens! The Team Holland boys informed me that their Trail Name was now the “Vampire Hunters”. They were just heading out of town.
I spent a relaxing afternoon catching up with my friends and doing chores – laundry, getting my resupply boxes, etc.
For dinner we went to the Idyllwild Brew pub. It was the first time all five of us were together for a few days and it was fun catching up. Cool Breeze and Stefan are hiking out tomorrow so we’re not sure if we’ll continue hiking together going forward. We hope so but who knows what the trail holds for us.
A really nice evening.