5/23: (~10 miles) to get out of Idyllwild, we hiked the Deer Springs Trail to PCT mile 183. It was an uphill climb of about 2,500 ft in about 3 miles. It probably took us about 2.5 hours making a record 1.2 mph! Coolest part was that we hiked from gloomy, foggy Idyllwild through the clouds to an amazing view of an ocean of clouds as far as you could see (photos will be uploaded soon if not already)
5/24: (~20 miles) hiked to the famous trail angels Ziggy & The Bear. We hiked about 16 miles downhill, then 4 miles through the desert in the fiercest winds I've ever been in (and I just graduated from 4 years of college in Ohio). Unfortunately, after lunch my foot really hurt and I limped the last 9 miles of the day (not fun downhill and in lots of wind). Got a box at Ziggy & The Bear and camped on their back porch with a few other hikers
5/25: (10 miles) hiked in the wicked desert to the oasis of the Whitewater Preserve. Plenty of people there on Memorial Day. Unfortunately- this was the worst day for my right foot. About halfway to the preserve (4 miles in) I felt a pop in my foot and it hurt way more than usual. Very painful 4 miles (again down a steep hill). Got to the preserve where there was plenty of shade and decided to stay there for the night (only 8 miles hiked at this point). David and Rebecca moved on and I set up my hammock and read my Kindle. After about 5 hours I decided I didn't want to make this a Nero (Nero: "Near-Zero"; to some people a single-digit day) so I hiked 2 more miles to make 10 miles. Camped next to Whitewater river
5/26: (19.9 miles) hiked (again in the grueling desert) this day but it was a bit better- by 10am I hit Mission Creek and the remainder of the day was spent following Mission Creek (crossing over it multiple times). I carried very little water because I was so close to water all the time (only about 1.75 L) and that was nice on the shoulders. Took BIG breaks (couple 1 hour breaks and about 2 hours for lunch), which caused me to reach the campsite just barely before total darkness
5/27: (12.2 miles) easy hike. Got up later than usual (6am) and got going later than usual (7:30am). Was told that I could hitchhike from Onyx Summit to Big Bear (where my original plan was to hike almost all the way around Big Bear Lake to the Cougar Crest Trail at PCT mile 277.9. This would fortunately cut a couple days out of my schedule. Hiked all day (lots of up and down) and finally came to a sign at the Onyx Summit made by some trail angels with a water cache (these trail angels weren't mentioned in any other information that I've seen so it was a surprise). Called them and I'm staying tonight at the house of Papa Smurf and Mountain Mama in Big Bear (they gave me a ride from the trail). This place is great! Not only do we get a place to sleep, but I get to use this computer, a shower, laundry, and food all free of charge (I'm adding to their donation box, of course)!
5/28 [anticipated]: (0 miles) planning to take my first zero tomorrow. Gonna rest my foot, explore Big Bear a bit, do laundry, get my box from the Fawnskin post office (planned there instead of Big Bear because it'd be closer to the Cougar Crest Trail). Also probably will meet up with Rebecca and David for lunch or something tomorrow (they're also taking zeros). May even join them for more trail!