May 13, 2015 (3rd Re-Ration – Idyllwild)
San Jacinto State Park (Mountain Fire Alternate) to Idyllwild Inn (Mountain Fire Alternate)
2.6 Alternate PCT miles today
188.9 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: Unknown
There is nothing better than a cozy cabin with a fireplace after almost two weeks in the woods. Today was our first official “nero” and, along with Mama Bear’s help, we really made the most of it. A “zero” on the PCT is a day when you do no hiking, so it generally means that you spend two nights in town. A “nero” is a bit more affordable, and therefore more common, and means that you do a few miles either into or out of town, but you still spend one night off trail.
This morning Don and I packed up and walked a few miles uphill to the northern edge of town (where our trail leaves from tomorrow morning) and that’s where we met Mama Bear. On the way into town she had picked up a couple other hikers and given them a hitch and she was all aglow from her love of her new role as trail angel. The morning walk was actually a nice way to start the day, but once we hopped in the car, we were more than happy to be off our feet.
Unfortunately, these days off just fly by way too quickly. Our first stop in town was for breakfast at Jan’s Red Kettle and it was filling and delicious. Then we drove over to the Idyllwild Inn and checked into one of the cutest and coziest cabins I’ve ever spent time in. I could seriously live here. There is a fireplace, a little deck, bedroom, and tiny furnished kitchen. What more could you need? We spent the rest of the afternoon showering, doing laundry, sorting out our re-rations, and hanging out with Boyardee and Energizer Bunny, who had come over for a visit. We also made a stop over at Nomad Adventures, Idyllwild’s outdoor shop and home to some very cool gear. Pickles and I got a little geeked out on seeing all our favorite gear in one spot, and definitely could have wasted a few hours in there.
We rounded out the evening with dinner at the local pizzeria, along with a bunch of other hikers, and then some ice cream by the fire. We couldn’t have asked for a more satisfying day off. It is tempting to stay longer, especially since there’s a big storm coming in tomorrow that everyone else is avoiding by sticking around one more day, but we’ve got good gear and a good plan and will be on our way in the morning. As cozy as we are, we do miss the trail whenever we’re off it for more than a couple hours. Call us crazy, but we’re pretty sure this is the kind of life we were born for.