Day 10: Tule Creek to Paradise Valley Café (mi 137-151.9), 14.9 miles.
I am still unsure if it rained on me last night or not. It had snowed in Idyllwild and we had a chance of rain where I was camped. Though, I was half under a tree, and don’t know if the water on my tent was from rain or the tree. I never woke up to the sound of rain drops. I did meet a few guys at the water cache who had been cowboy camping about 5 miles back, who did get rained on. I was dry and that is all that matters.
When packing up camp it was only 35 degrees. I hiked up the “road” from the creek to the water cache and hit trail by 7:10 am. I was not expecting the grueling up hill that was to come. It really wasn’t terrible, but my knee and legs had not had enough time to warm up before hitting that stretch of the steepest uphill switchbacks I had seen on trail yet. Nonetheless, there were amazing views.
I got to another water cache at mile 143 among the pot farms. I saw posts earlier that the cache was empty, so I didn’t need any water when I arrived, even though there was water. I still did take a quick break to enjoy my second breakfast after the climb. From there it was an easy walk again, weaving in and out from the hillside. I was making good time and would indeed make it to Paradise Café before they closed at 3.
I started to go downhill again, which only meant I would have to go up again on the other side. Thankfully this stretch wasn’t as bad as the climb earlier in the morning. Once again, once I hiked back up, I was greeted with great panoramic views from the ridge. I then made it to the Hwy by 12:30 for my one mile road walk to the Paradise Café where I would meet my mom and enjoy the Jose Burger!
On our way into town, we stopped at Living Free to meet Evan. Thankfully, Randall (LF President) was there and gave us a big welcome and grand tour. It is such an amazing facility that seemed to just keep going and going and offering more than I ever imagined! Getting to meet Evan was great, and he was so chill! He will be a great hiking partner and cuddle buddy.
We then got to also go meet the LF burros and Mustangs. Turns out LF is working on implementing a Equine Therapy program for vets. Randall should have never told me. Now I have it working in my head that moving to Idyllwild may be in my future! I guess I have lots to think about over the next 5 months! Just down the road there is a gym that also has a heavy bag I saw outside….Potential, I must say!
For now, I will rest up in Idyllwild, explore the town and plan my route with Evan as there are many obstacles in the way – Mountain Fire Closure, no dogs allowed in the state park, and the Lake Fire Closure.
This weekend, I will be taking Evan on a short practice hike on the alternate between Hurkey Campground and Idyllwild. I will help out when I can at both ARF and Living Free. Then I will also be up at the Idyllwild Post Office with Evan and ARF to meet all the hikers getting their boxes and inviting them to come walk and eat free food at our Event on Sunday!
Also, check out this neat article they did for me in the Idyllwild Town Crier (dates are wrong).