A glistening sheen of ice greeted us on the roof of our tents when we awoke this morning. During the night condensation had built up and due to the location of our camp in the valley, the temperature dropped. This resulted in a very cold tent and Becky being rather chilled. Also during the night we heard some large mammal just up above us, with Rattles continuing to earn her trail name. Leaving camp, we walked towards water, covering seven miles comfortably by 8:30. The trail was reflective of our proximity to the near by Big Bear settlements, with easy gradients and pleasant campsites every couple of miles. Several caches of soda and water were stocked by trail angels, including one with two lazy boys if you wished to rest your feet. After a break enjoying the surrounding views of the desert below, we pushed on to make Highway 18 by lunchtime. When it came in sight, Rattles, already moving at a fair clip, literally began to run at one point so eager was she for a hot shower. Sticking our thumbs out we quickly caught a hitch to the door of our accommodation. Staying at Natures Inn it came very PCT hiker friendly, with all kinds of add-ons and even a bathtub. Deciding that food then laundry were the priorities, we lunched at the highly recommended Thelma’s. At the laundry mat I struck up a conversation with the man who ran maintenance on the machines, who filled me in on all the local stories. This included three day hikers who had gotten lost for two days in nothing but shorts and t-shirts near the PCT where we had been yesterday, up by Mission Springs. They had been found in pretty bad shape having endured freezing temperatures and no food. Next stop was the supermarket to buy our weeks food, and then back to Thelma’s for dinner. Sleepy at 7:30 we walked back to our Inn and fell asleep on a bed for once.
Miles hiked – 17