Can I just start by saying, this past section kicked my butt! I’m not sure if it was the four days off I enjoyed or the fact that the tempature jumped to 100 degrees? But anyway you slice it, it was brutal!
We had a storm that brought fresh snow to the top of San Jacinto and all sensible hikers, yes there were others that were rescued, left Sunday morning. It started out fine but once I climbed, the trail turned to slush, snow and ice. I have never seen trees rain ice nor have I seen ice crystals on the ground, but it was an interesting combination of beauty, amazement and much route finding! And that was only the beginning.
The terrain changed so much over the 100 miles I covered from mountains to desert to bush whacking overgrown reeds and desert willows to pine forests to high desert chapperel. After climbing to over 9000′, I had the pleasure of enduring the biggest decent of the entire PCT. Some 8000′ in less than fifteen miles which isn’t that extreme, but the torment of seeing the desert floor all day, yet not reaching it till late afternoon. And to make things worse, I had my first rattlesnake encounter! As I was checking out this incredibly large and juicy lizard to the left of me, Mr. Snake was thinking dinner was only a strike away. Just as I turned the corner, I saw the snake and he saw me. I screamed, Mr. Snake rattled, and that juicy lizard got away!
With all the ups and downs, I have had much time to reflect on God’s glory. When I have had my moments of desperation, God reminds me that we are in this together, that He will never leave me nor forsake me and He has plans for us to touch the hikers along our way.
Even in the desert, there are plenty of oasis’ along the way. My father had asked me when I was going to be at Whitewater? I honestly had no idea, nor did I remember reading about this preserve in the middle of nowhere. As I was stumbling down one of my many steep grades, I see this sign for Whitewater Preserve, 1/2 mile off trail in the opposite direction, south to be exact. Because of Dad, I wandered over to see what all the fuss was about. And wow, what a beautiful and unexpected oasis. I soaked my feet, slept on the grass and relaxed for the afternoon. Much needed rest from the desert heat!
What I have learned during these last hundred miles, is that we truly need each other. There is a community of people on the trail and even though I may spend much time walking alone, I always know there are others nearby. When someone needs a little encouragement, medical attention or just a smile, God has placed me right where He needs me! Last week, many people left the trail. Most of them had problems with the heat, some could not bare another day trekking on blistered feet and others may have wondered why they are on this blistering hot trail anyhow? I know that when I have a bad day or fleeting thoughts of sleeping on a comfy mattress, being clean from head to toe or just not suffering, I remember that I have a purpose to spread God’s love on the trail. And as long as I am able to do that, then I will continue to hike. I am sure that there will be more revealed as long as I am willing to complete the journey that My great Lord and I have begun.
” … It has not yet been revealed what we shall be … 1 john 3:2
Before I close, I want to thank all of you for your words of love, your warm thoughts and most especially – your prayers. I am able to read all the comments within a week or so but typically do not have service to respond. Godspeed and may we all continue to walk in God’s love.
2 thoughts on “Idyllwild to Big Bear 275 Miles ”
Thank you so much for your posts, they are so encouraging. I am close to your age but I don’t think I could do as well as you. Love you bringing in God.
you are awesome. Such beautiful pictures. I just googled your blog and found numerous listings. You made it!
Can’t wait to see you.