Nero in Big Bear – PCT 23

June 6

Highway 18 to Caribou Creek

9 miles
Maybe it was all that Mexican food, but I could barely sleep last night. What a waste of a bed!

There was a coffee maker at the hostel and I drank barrels this morning. Sarge at the hostel was chill about letting me stay in the common area past check out time. He said he usually shuts down the hostel by June. There are still hikers showing up. I got a big earful about streams and springs in the desert drying up. So I guess I’d better get to it. Only 425 miles till Kennedy Meadows!

After I finished catching up my blog and writing emails and eating another burrito, it was afternoon. I caught the city bus back to Vons and then waited for the special bus that goes between cities and stops at the trailhead. And while I appreciate that bus stops are amazing places to hang out, I got a little tired of waiting. Eventually I gave up, crossed the street, and stuck out my thumb. A respectable father with his two young sons in car seats in the back of the SUV picked me up. They were coming back from the store with a new soccer ball. 

I started thinking Why bother taking the bus? Hitching is so much easier and faster! But then I remember Mary Vincent and I think oh yeah, they’re not always soccer dads that pull over. (If you don’t know who Mary Vincent is, google her name with hitch hiking. Major Trigger Warning – you will not like the story you find.)

They dropped me off at mile 266 and I plowed down the trail. My new gloves are black, which isn’t ideal, but I do appreciate having a place to wipe my nose. 

There’s a short fire closure detour onto some Jeep roads. Those seem like steep roads for driving but there were a few trucks out. I kept going after dark. It was really nice out: cool and no buggies. I wanted to get to the next water source before camping. At mile 275 I came to Caribou Creek. Surprise! The creek was dry! I guess that thing Sarge talked about is coming true.

There was already a little Big Agnes club set up at the campsite. I threw down mine and joined up.

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