May 15 (Day 14)

Fuller Ridge to Ziggy and the Bear’s (290.5 to 210.8)

Daily miles: 20.3

Slept hard and woke at half past 5.  Hiking by 6 and trying to get miles before the sun gets too hot.  I have to go all day without a water source so I’m trying to conserve.  I eat some poptarts and brush my teeth while I’m walking, which is a great time saver.  I look out into the valley, which is actually a desert, and can see a whole ocean of clouds underneath me.  Mountains rise up like islands and I feel like a mariner lost at sea.

I’ll lose something around 9000 ft of elevation between yesterday afternoon and today, when I reach the desert floor.  9000 ft over the course of roughly 20 miles.  Luckily I bought athletic tape in Idyllwild which seems to be the answer for my hurting foot.

My old friend Wind returns stronger than ever so that the last 2 miles take well over two hours.  I’m also walking in sand, so once every dozen steps I almost fall over.  Morale drops to the lowest point so far as I contemplate the upcoming fire closure.  A small section is closed from last year’s fire, and this time there’s no alternate or roads to find a way around.  So i have to take a 3 hour car/bus ride and skip 40 miles of trail, but fire closures are just as much a part of the PCT as the wind and has to be dealt with as such.

But now I’m at Ziggy and The Bear’s, trail angels who let hikers sleep at their house.  They’ve carpeted their backyard so I just toss my sleeping bag and pad on the ground.  There’s something like 30 hikers here because this is the last place to bail before the closure.  I eat my regular dinner and then order a large pepperoni pizza and eat all of that too.  Then I feel sick and try not to throw up before I pass out for the night.

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Clouds below me

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