I slept pretty well since we dropped around 6k in elevation where I slept and I was so warm. I always sleep way better when I'm not frozen. I headed out around five and I could see the city lights from Palm Springs and the morning colors coming from the sky. The desert is very overgrown and I cut my legs with several spikey plants as I walk by. This entire section was going to be downhill again until we reach Interstate 10. I could smell Burger King from Cabazon radiating from below.
I passed the Texans' tent when it started getting a little brighter. I walked past them and waited for golden hour and spent like half an hour taking desert flower pics. I was regretting that I hadn't been taking many photos the last few days because they've been so exhausting. But looking back at the photos made me force myself to take more, especially town candid photos. I loved looking back on all the people I have met so far. As soon as the sun came out around 6am, it was like blazing and I had to bust out my umbrella so soon! It was insane. I knew if I was warm when I was packing up, I could only imagine what it'd be like the rest of the day.
The rest of the descent was hot and sweaty but bearable. I reached a spigot flowing cool water and was so excited. The Texans were there filling up with a girl named Smile from North Bend. I filled up a little bit and carried on. It was this paved road that took me to a tiny cute private neighborhood in the middle of the desert. I was welcomed by this colorful junction sign pointing me to all the destinations we had just walked through and placed we needed to get to.
This is the section that was just BRUTAL. the flat section up to I10. I'm not sure why it was so hot but it was dry, no wind and no shade the entire time. It seemed like the sun was heating the ground and radiating back to my body. It was also a lot of sand and you know how walking in sand can be. I noticed I was starting to feel a bit light headed and sick so when I got under the freeway, I had to take a break in the shade. Smile and the couple from New York were there and the Texans showed up. They had my hat! I guess it got caught onto a branch probably early this morning and had no clue. This is where I parted ways with them, Nate and Megs didn't need to go to Ziggy's so they wanted to go straight to Big Bear from I10. I needed to go since I had a package coming.
The last 1.8 miles was uphill but it wasnt TOO bad since I was able to take the break. I followed the signs to "trail magic" and finally arrived on their street. Ziggy and the Bear are older retired trail angels who have been hosting hikers since the 90s. They live out in the desert in the middle of nowhere and is one of the most essential stops when you're walking through one of the hottest sections of the desert. I walked around to their white fence to go into their backyard. Every time you head into a trail angel's place, it's always confusing and you have no clue what to do.
I walked through the back and saw a clothesline full of hiker clothes drying and washing sinks to my right with buckets for laundry. Around the corner was a huge space covered carpet where hikers can cowboy camp. There were signs up with important phone numbers and guidelines for staying there. To my right was a huge covered patio where about 15 hikers were lounging under in the shade. I signed in on the clipboard and Ziggy came out to hand me a cold Gatorade. I asked about the shuttle to Big Bear and signed up on the sheet to head out at 4pm. There were some trail angels who were volunteering to shuttle people from Ziggy's to San Bernardino transit center. It was only 1230pm. I had a lot of time to spare and wasn't too sure what I should do so I ended up charging some things and washing some clothes.
Finally 4p came around and a hiker from Virginia who was volunteering for the month, took the five of us in his van to the San Bernardino transit center. I was kind of bummed to not see the giant dinosaurs in Cabazon but got to snap some pics from the car. We all talked about food on the way to the station and ended up dropping by In and Out to get burgers. We were all starving since we hadn't eaten any real food. Then we got dropped off at the bus and waited for load in. The bus was super nice and comfortable. It was nice being in somewhere with air conditioning by it got cold quick. The bus took us through some stops in town and then we were on our way through windy mountain roads.
I started getting SUPER car sick about fifteen miles out from Big Bear Lake. The bus driver was driving so fast and we were at the back of the bus. The other hikers on the bus were super chatty and making me feel even worse. Near the end, I couldn't take it anymore and asked Kristen to grab me an empty gallon Ziploc from my pack. I was so close to puking. I just kept telling myself, "just a few more minutes to our stop, I can hold it." We finally got off and I could barely walk to the hostel. I collapsed onto the pavement with my head down and tried containing my vomit that I could start tasting. I tried breathing through my nose and it helped. I was finally able to get up and go to the hostel. It was pretty late after 7p and the guy at the hostel was super nice and tried getting me a room.
My options were to share a dorm room with some guy with long blonde hair who was wearing a skirt or my own room but I'd have to stay two nights for a better deal. I went out and asked Kristen what I should do. I was so torn because I had no clue if I was going to zero or not but also wanted to save money. She was heading over to Golden Boy's family cabin and ended up asking if I could come. I felt really bad because I didn't want to intrude or mooch, but they were happy to take me in. I just felt super grateful to not be stranded by myself. Something I've been noticing is that even though it's nice to solo hike, you really need a good community at stops and towns to fill that loneliness in towns. Hitching and resupplying on your own can be really sad.
We stopped by the brewery in town before heading home. We arrived to GB's cabin in the dark to this cute little space. Kristen and I were sharing a bunk bed in one of the rooms. It wasn't long before we all headed to bed, it was a very long day.