Day 11-15. Hanging in Idyllwild.
So I have arrived to 5 days before my first event. The plan was to get my shelter pup a couple days early and hike into Idyllwild, but the Fire Closure put a damper on that plan.
Wednesday and Thursday were my lazy tourist days. I explored town, showered, did laundry, and relaxed in the RV. Wednesday evening, I was invited to dinner just down the street at ARF’s President’s house. They were so welcoming and helpful through out the whole planning stages and throughout the event day. I am definitely grateful for Janice, Robert, and all of the ARF and Living Free folks I met. Once again, adding to my list of reasons to consider living/having extended travel to Idyllwild. The next morning, I went to the ARF house to help with some chores and got to play with the kitties! By the middle of Thursday I was already going stir crazy. It was a good week to take off considering the weather was all over the place. Slightly chillier, and back and forth between rain, snow and some patches of sun.
Since my original plan had to be scratched, I planned on taking Evan on a practice hike on the PCT alternate from Hurkey Campground to the Living Free property. I got him and myself already with a half loaded pack for me and his new Ruffwear pack for him. At first, Evan started out really slow (aside from the usually doggy smell and pee stops), and I didn’t think he’d make for the best of trail partner. Though after a couple miles, I took off his pack and he did much better and was ready to roll. Good considering I wasn’t sure of the exact route back to the LF property. I ventured right when I had to make a decision. After getting to nearly the top of the mountain, I took a little side trail I thought might lead us in the right direction. The trail ended soon after and we did some backcountry exploring and bushwhacking. Evan was a trooper and seemed to be enjoying the adventure. After a while, I assumed we went the wrong way and had to back track to the fire road. I then went the other way, and soon after found the right path leading us to the meadow leading to LF.
We did pass two thru-hikers hiking back on the fire road. Once we got down to the meadow, there was another pup laying in the tall grass. He was watching us very closely, but I don’t think Evan ever notice. It was either a stray, coyote or fox. I didn’t want to get too close to find out, but am leading toward the latter. A couple hours after we started, we arrived back through the gates of Living Free. Once we arrived, I set up tent to see hoe Evan would do in/around it. He smelled, but n (5.75 miles) ever wanted to get in and was happy laying outside. I guess he was also too good for the new Ruffwear bed. While we were at the sanctuary, a prospective adoptive parent that was interested in adopting Evan stopped by to have a meet and greet with his own guy. A nice guy.
Saturday morning, I headed to town with my mom to catch up on some emails at the Library. They were very hiker friendly at the Idy Library. They had water reports printed and a huge map where they had hikers place stickers where they were from – Neat to see where everyone was coming from. We then went to pickup Evan to promote Sunday’s event. We posted in front of the Post Office and Pizza joint to hand out fliers. On a side note, that Pizza joint had some darn good sandwiches! We then wandered around town, but got rained out and headed back to the RV for the evening. It took quite a bit of practice for Evan to figure out how to use the RV stairs, but he seemed to warm up quite fast to the inside.
Sunday was the big day of our event. The weather finally looked good – with mostly sunny skies that morning. We headed to the Ernie Maxwell Trail for our hike. Unfortunately no one else showed up to join us ( I blame the wrong date in the paper – though lots of people recognized us from the paper). Despite going solo (my mom joined for half), it was a great and easy going hike. Scenic and easy – a great mix. Evan again did great (4.8 miles). From there we headed to ARF to prepare for our lunch – crossing our fingers for a better turnout.
The lunch was much more of a success then the walk with a number showing up – though no hikers, which surprised me – free food people! Halfway through, the rain clouds decided to show up which also probably deterred some people. it was night to meet more locals and show off how awesome Evan is.
A happy day, lead to a not so happy afternoon. Unfortunately, the fire closures and transportation made logistics quite difficult to figure out how to hike more of the PCT with Evan. Sadly, I had to drop him off back to LF – still bitter sweet though as I knew he would be adopted and going to a new home very soon. We definitely bonded the few short days we spent together. Someone will be very lucky to have Evan and he will make many people happy!