Days 9 – 12: Kick off, Warner Springs and Idyllwild (T-Fox)

Day 9: Miles 109 to 115 – 6 miles (kick off)

Day 10: Miles 115 to 140 – 25 miles

Day 11: Miles 140 to 149 and 6 miles detour – 15 miles

Day 12: 12 mile detour

Coast Horned lizard

Coast Horned lizard

Wow…haven’t written in a while!! We spent 2 days at ADZPCTKO – Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off. It was a great way to meet more people and prepare ourselves a bit more for what else to expect on our journey. We did, however, find that we had “itchy feet” and wanted to get back on the trail. As mentioned in our previous post, we got to drive a sweet hippie van to Kick-Off, but we didn’t have a clue how we would get back to the trail. We needed to hitch a ride to mile 109 so we could continue where we had left off. And finding a ride was HARD! Dan had resorted to wearing a sign on his back. Haha! But it worked! the sign said we needed a ride for two, and someone approached Dan saying they had room for one. We had a buddy who was looking for a ride too, so Dan said, “How about 3?” luckily they were willing, as long as we didn’t mind squishing. And squish we did…

Nice and cozy...

Nice and cozy…

That was a very long 2 hour drive! We hung out at the community centre for a while, and started packing things up early afternoon. We decided to do a Nero-Day, meaning a day with single digit mileage. So we only hiked 6 miles that day, but found a wonderful private camp spot, where we had dinner and chocolate – always chocolate 🙂 We tend to do this, but since we covered so few miles that day, we ended up having to “make up for it” the next day. We did 25 miles, which isn’t that much in theory, but remember, we are fresh hikers! It takes the body some time to adjust to the demands of walking with a backpack. So at least in my opinion, 25 miles was long! it was a beautiful day though, with gorgeous mountain views and a cooling breeze. If it’s not a scorcher, we hike and hike and hike!

image image

I was a mess when we finally put up camp. I could hardly move my calves, and there was a shooting pain under the arches of my feet. I in no way want to complain or have this blog be about all hardships and suffering, but I also want to be honest. Its fun to romanticize trail life with every moment being about connecting with nature and having fuzzy feelings…but that’s just not the case. THIS. IS. HARD. No joke.


So I was not a happy camper that night. but it’s amazing what sleep can do. I curled upon my puffy down sleeping bag and passed out within seconds. Sleep…glorious sleep…

Dan with his knockoff Red Sox hat he found on the trail.

Dan with his knockoff Red Sox hat he found on the trail.

Awake the next day, and good to go! We cranked out 9 miles by 11, so that we could reached Paradise Cafe for lunch. It was hot. It was only 9 miles, but for some reason I was really struggling. I think that on days when we do shorter miles in order to reach a destination (like food or a town) those are the days that I see hiking as a chore. It’s such a mental game! The miles seem to drag on forever, even though they are so few. So I need to make sure that I enjoy the moment – to focus on the hiking, as opposed to where I’m trying to get, and why the heck is it taking so long…my goodness my feet just can’t seem to take it!

Nom Nom...

Nom Nom…

After our glorious lunch, we had a decision to make. The next section of the hike was closed due to trees being down from a forest fire last year. A lot of people decided to hitch to the next town, and then continue on the PCT after that. Well, I’m married to a man who would not do that. Skip parts of the PCT?! No sir! We came to hike from Mexico to Canada, so there would be no skipping. We couldn’t hike the actual trail, as they were giving $2500 fines out to anyone who did so. So we opted to hike on the road from Paradise Cafe to Idyllwild. That was another mental block for me – I didn’t come to hike a highway!! I want to be in the wilderness, away from the cars! So I trudged myself 18 miles down that road, with the world’s most supportive husband cheering me on

Beautiful ranches with horses for me to neigh at!!

Beautiful ranches with horses for me to neigh at!!

Free water, pop and pop tarts

Free water, pop and pop tarts

We arrived in Idyllwild around noon today. we got a hotel, and the first thing I did was have a nap in the bed! Yup…that was priority #1! I’m not sure why, but I felt really sick this afternoon. I slept in the bed for at least four hours, and I was shaking with a terrible fever. Dan is the best…he went around town, raiding the hiker boxes for food (these are boxes in towns where hikers discard their food or miscellaneous things they don’t want) and he did any necessary shopping. When I woke up feeling relatively better, he had completed all the errands. He rocks. Well, I’d better hit the hay. My body is beat, and I’ve got some sickness fighting to do tonight.Thank you all for reading, and for supporting us with happy words, thoughts and prayers. Even if it’s not easy most days, we are still having the time of our lives.

Walk on…


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7 Responses to Days 9 – 12: Kick off, Warner Springs and Idyllwild (T-Fox)

  1. Wally Brubacher says:

    You are doing Great!😁
    Just saying a few words of prayer for you right now.
    Love you guys and love what you are doing 😃

  2. Megan Firth says:

    Oh Tara – I’m sorry you’re not feeling well. I am also sending up a prayer for you. Thank you for continuing to post. I love reading about your journey. You are an amazing trooper! You Go Girl! And a huge High Five to Dan for being the World’s Best Husband!

  3. IceCave says:

    Good job on the road walk in the hot hot heat. Hope your feeling better and having fun on the trail. I just got to Ziggy & The Bears, enjoying the hot footbath. Maybe I’ll see you guys shortly.

  4. Kirk Durston says:

    I pray for you two a couple times every day, as always! I had to smile at Dan’s ‘no cheating’ policy with regard to WALKING all the way from Mexico to Canada. LOL. That’s Daniel! 🙂

    • I have to applaud him for his dedication. I may, however, find myself hitching if a highway walk presents itself again. We had three cars pull over and offer us rides because it was so hot, and they figured surely no one would chose to walk on the hot road! We declined…Haha

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