Endless P Summer

Ziggy and the Bear’s, CA

I’m currently just chilling out in some lawn furniture in Whitewater, CA nice and fresh from a luke warm shower and I can’t remember ever feeling so good. Ziggy and the Bear are a couple of trail Angels who have been hosting hikers in their yard for years and the set up is really sweet. Right now there’s about 30 of us pounding Little Caesar’s.

The last week of my life has gone quite well. I feel like I’m starting to settle into the hike and it’s beginning to feel real. My sleeping has improved and so has my appetite. With any luck I crash out between 9-10 and unless I get woken up earlier by gale force winds, I try to get up around 4-4:30 then crush a whole bunch of miles and watch the sun come up and stuff. In the afternoons I tend to slow down a little so I can stop and shoot the breeze with everybody or take a little siesta. When it comes to eating I’ve become something of a machine. I’ve been eating everything I can and stuffing my face every chance I get. The other night in Idyllwild I even set my own personal pizza eating record(7 slices of real 2-topping pizza, not Monte’s).

This week has come with with some other unexpected challenges and decisions I need to make on how I want to go about this hike. Part of the trail was closed for forest regrowth and the alternate route added about 9 miles, a lot of it a road walk. It was rumored to be a total drag but instead of hitching to the next trailhead I’m glad I walked it, it was actually quite scenic and enjoyable. Another alternate gave hikers the option of climbing San Jacinto Peak (10,834 feet and the J sounds like an H) and although adding a couple miles and quite challenging, especially the descent, it was very worth it. A few other memorable events from this week were Trail Angel Mike’s desert oasis at mile 127, taking my first ‘zero'(thru-hiker jargon for not hiking any trail miles in a day) in beautiful Idyllwild, CA, and surviving some intense winds while camping last night near a ridge on the North Face of San Jacinto. As the pictures show the often changing landscapes of the desert and the mountains has been just a treat for the eyes. I also am learning to use an Instagram account(right now you can search for me as Carmody413 but that will likely change) and have taken on a moniker. At first I thought it was a little hokey to go by a trail name, but that was until somebody gave me a good one. Until next time…

-Endless P. Summer

Warner Springs, CA

I’m 109 miles and 6 days in and so far the hike and experience has been just delightful. I feel like I went into the hike in pretty good shape so cranking out the miles hasn’t been an issue for me. I give my feet pretty good love and haven’t got any blisters. I used my mothers trick the first few days putting Vaseline on them before my socks and ive been hanging my socks everytime I stop. I’m learning that the more efficient you are with food, water, and gear you can have a much lighter pack and the lighter your pack the easier the miles. I sent my stove home along with some clothes and trying to get more done with less. Instead of cooking my dehydrated food I’ve been putting it in an empty peanut butter container adding water and it’s ready at my next meal, it’s pretty good and I’ve been trying to eat as much as I can. I still have a tent but haven’t been using it, the stars are way too cool out here so I just throw down my strip of tyvek, sleeping pad and bag aka cowboy camping.

The scenery in the desert was totally unexpected and has been just the tops! I pictured the desert to be more like sand dunes everywhere but it’s much more mountainous and awesome. I’ve seen only one rattler but some kind of racer and a couple other ones just posing out on the trail, buku lizards, a few horned toads,and two coyotes(but one might have been a wolf and the other might have been a German Shepard).

I’ve hiked and camped with lots of fun and interesting people out here and been learning plenty from them. The Trail Angels have been so great and the timing has been wicked clutch. Mike and Nancy at Scissors crossing and Jan and Jim who picked me up, fed me, and drove me to the trail as well as stocked the water cache at 3rd gate. On the trail most people are given a trail name for one reason or another and a few have been sent my way. I’m trying one on now and I’ll let you know if I decide to keep it. It’s kinda serious business out here so it’s gotta fit just right.

Sometimes I just can’t believe my luck!!