We had the best of intentions, really — plans to wake up early enough to catch the 5:36 AM bus across town to get breakfast, then hit the trail. But you know what? When you end up staying up until 11:30 PM the night before, catching up on all your town chores (for us, mostly uploading blog posts and photos), 5:30 AM comes really early. And so you decide to set your alarm for a more reasonable hour, like 7:00 AM instead…
Which is all to say that the incredibly early start we’d planned to get this morning didn’t really happen. What did happen, though, is a trip to Big Bear Donuts — home not only to delicious donuts, but biscuits and gravy, Clare’s favorite. What also happened is something we’ve continued to be blown away by since coming to Big Bear: the friendliness of the locals. We walked to the bus stop and literally had not even had time to take our packs off before Noelle, a local woman, offered us a ride. Um…sure!
So not only did we get to eat donuts, but we got to have them with Noelle and her two-year-old son, Felix, who was cute as can be while drinking milk with a straw (punched through the top of the plastic milk carton) and slowly chomping on a donut. Noelle took us to breakfast, ate breakfast with us, and then took us all the way (another seven miles or so) to the place where the PCT crosses the road. Again, I just continue to be impressed with how incredibly friendly folks in these trail towns are, and how much they’ll do for you just because they’re great people.
Because we got a late start today, we didn’t hike terribly far (which is nice, since it’s twenty miles to the next water — meaning we’re carrying a lot of water, making our packs heavy), but the hike was really beautiful. Leaving Big Bear, you basically take a high ridge and cross over to the other side of the lake, then slowly hike along that ridge. This gives you amazing views, with Big Bear Lake itself in front of the cities of Big Bear Lake and Big Bear City, then the mountains framing the cities, then the high ski mountains beyond. It’s a beautiful view, and one you get to have for hours as you hike along. It doesn’t hurt anything that the hiking itself is relatively easy, with moderate ascents and a lot of slowly rolling terrain rather than giant ups-and-downs.
It also means, amusingly, that we have great cell-phone service at our campsite tonight (a less rare occurrence than you might think). (In fact, it’s twelve megabits download, five upload — faster than many people’s home Internet connection. Hilarious.) Hence I can actually post this directly from our campsite.
Tomorrow, we actually do plan to get up early, for real, and put in some serious miles. After all, there are hot springs and an Interstate rest stop in our future! 😉