Last night, I slept like a baby. I don't think I've ever slept so well. The bed was SO comfy and the temperature of the room was perfect. The gas fireplace would automatically turn on and off to heat the room. It's so crazy how appreciative you are of just a warm and cozy bed after two weeks on trail. It was worth everything in the world.
I woke up around six and debated with Megs over text on what time to head out and where. There were two trails to take to saddle junction, we decided to take the Tahquitz Peak trail to connect back to the PCT. The lady that the Texans were staying at was able to come pick me up in town so that was nice of her! As I was sitting in the room all ready to go and was just waiting around, I thought I should maybe get my last breakfast in town at Jan's while I was waiting. I let Kristen know I was heading out and walked over to Jan's around 7am.
I dropped my pack off at the door and got myself a table. I ordered the same thing as I did the previous day, I just had to. It was SO yummy. While I was there, there was this older man who stood up and made an announcement, "If you are a Pacific Crest Trail hiker, we just want to let you know that you are very welcome here in Idyllwild," and he sat down with his huge table of other older people and people clapped haha. It was so random but so sweet! All the hiker friendly towns are always too good to us. Rosco, Mia and Hugo showed up at the restaurant and sat with me. We got to catch up so that was nice. I went to put the rest of my things in my backpack and it was time to go.
Karen, the lady the Texans stayed with was there to pick me up. She drove us to where we last left off and we were on our way. We took the road up to the Tahquitz trailhead and man, that was SO steep. On the board, some people had left notes from early April to turn around if you are trying to get to San Jacinto peak because the route was treacherous and needed crampons and ice axes. We got a little nervous but ended heading up. The entire trail was uphill and we gained around 4k ft to the peak. The last part was super steep. There was a nice lookout at the top at 8790 ft where we hung out and ate a huge bag of kettle cooked chips. We talked to a man there who just moved to Idyllwild a year and a half ago. He told us that the route from the peak to saddle junction (where we needed to go to connect on the PCT) was really sketchy because the snow hasn't melted. We all got a bit nervous and were really sad if we had to turn all the way back since we came SO far and worked so hard. But we figured we tried to head over and assess the conditions ourselves.
As soon as we turned the corner, there was tons of unmelted snow. There were some parts where the trail was exposed but there was this one part of the ridge that dropped right off that was covered. Thankfully, there had been some foot steps already patched that we were able to get through slowly and carefully. About halfway into it, we see a kid in Nikes with no tread and no poles come through from the other side. We were all relieved when we saw him and he was able to get by with like no gear. We made it across safely from the ridge and rounded back into this deserted looking forest. There were lots of trees down and it just looked so dead but it was really cool to be on part of the PCT that many people skip.
We finally reach saddle junction and then we climb another couple hundred feet to our campsite now sitting at 9004 ft. We are so high! It's going to be cold tonight. Lots of people planned on summiting San Jacinto tonight but we will do it tomorrow morning. I ate my leftover pizza, a bar and Reese's pieces for dinner. Then the Texans had too much black beans and Fritos leftover so I ate some of theirs. I am so full. We will summit tomorrow morning. It might be a little sketch as we heard but guess we'll find out. We're so over these detours and just ready to get back on the PCT.