Day 12 – 5/3/16
Campsite 190.53 to Ziggy and the Bear 210.8
Total miles: 20.17
Woke up today at 5 and Jim came by my tent to tell me he was taking off already. I told him I’d take off in 30 minutes. I packed up as quick as possible to take advantage of as much cool weather as I can since there is a long exposed descent from 8,000 feet to 1,700 feet.
The morning was fairly easy and quick since it was cool and still within the trees. Once I broke out of the trees I could already feel the increase of temperature. I tried moving as quick as I can without hurting my knee.
After awhile I checked my phone to see what mile I was at since I had a feeling I was around mile 200. I was at 199.5 so I knew I was close. I started looking for some rocks on the ground to spell out 200. 20 minutes go by and nothing.
At about mile 202 there was a wooden post with “200” on it. Hope the water source isn’t also 2 miles further!
The rest of the trail to the water source was more of the same. Just hot and down hill with zero shade.
Finally got to the water source and tried to sit in the shade of a Boulder. There was a sliver of shade and I crammed myself in it. I loaded up with some water poured some Gatorade powder into a bottle and took off for the next 5 miles to Ziggy and the Bear. The temperature was around 105°. Just brutally hot.
On a rock next to the water spigot was the head of a snake with a lizard in its mouth. I learned at Ziggy and the Bear this guy named Rattlesnake killed the snake and lizard and set it up. He also apparently captured a snake and carried it with him for awhile. The dude is strange. We came across him under the I-10 sitting and rolling up a snake skin. He had a huge 6 inch knife in a leather holster on his hip, tank top with extremely sun burned arms, and a half smoked joint that was no longer lips. Luckily he didn’t stay at Ziggy and the Bear, he decided he wanted to go to the Morongo casino about 7 miles down the I-10.
The last 5 miles across the desert was super hot. The trail became loose sand and just added to how tiring the day was.
Four miles later we crossed under the I-10 and took a few minute rest before the last mile push to Ziggy and the Bear. I all but tried running to their house. It was so hot that I couldn’t think straight.
Finally we made it to Ziggy and the Bear. We did our check in and then the Bear took our picture/mugshot while holding a whiteboard with our name and what hiker number we are. I was number 673. They expect almost 2,000 hikers this year.
For the next couple hours we sat around under their porch relaxing and figuring out what we are going to do to get to Big Bear since a fire last year closed a large section. We had originally planned to do a road walk around to the west but we were advised that the are we would be walking through is very dangerous. So reluctantly we signed up for the shuttle to get us to Big Bear. It’s about a 2.5 hour bus ride. I wanted to say I walked to Canada but not getting shanked or mugged is probably a better call.
As the hours rolled by more and more and more hikers rolled in. Way too many hikers. By 7:30 there were close to 35 hikers.
At 6 Ziggy took a Little Ceasers order and we patiently waited for the pizza to show up. Finally around 8 the pizzas showed up. $7 bought you a 14″ pizza. Almost ate the whole thing. Saved the last couple slices for breakfast.
30 minutes later we all started to get ready for lights out at 9 pm. Everyone spreadout as best they could and cowboy camped in the backyard which had carpet everywhere to sleep on. I initially set up with my head against a wall but I noticed there were ants crawling along on the wall. So I moved up to this little platform wall. Sorry for the crappy phone picture.
Tomorrow morning a volunteer is driving us to to the San Bernardino transit station at 7 am to catch a bus up to Big Bear.