I've been hiking with a pretty amazing crew for the past few days. A group of us all decided to share a cabin in Idyllwild and we've been hiking together since. After hiking alone for much of my first week on trail, I'm so happy to be hiking in a group again like I did for part of the AT.
We got a later start than we wanted coming out of Idyllwild so our climb up Tahquitz Peak was right in the heat of the day. It was probably the toughest elevation we've encountered on the PCT this far too. When we finally got to the top though, the view was well worth the work and there was a really neat old fire tower and the promise of shade. I've quickly realized thst shade and water are the two luxeries of the desert, abf if you've found both at the same time, you should probably buy a lottery ticket. We we're all pretty spent after the climb so we took a couple hours to just hang out at the tower. It's times like this that I'm grateful to be with others, sharing such amazing sights.
A few day-hikers came by and it's always good to pick their brains for intel about the trail in that area. Sometimes they know hidden water sources or campsites, or have extra food they're eager to give away. On our decent from the peak we saw snow on the trail for the first time. Little did we know what this was foreshadowing for the next day...
After a few more mild miles, we made it to camp where I cowboy camped for the first time. It was a bit cold, but going to bed watching the stars is one of the greatest feelings in the world.
We got out of camp early this morning and made our way up Mt. Jacinto. I could already start to feel the the temperature get colder and colder the higher we climbed. Eventually we made it to the summit complete with 360 degree views. It was especially cool to see the trail we had come from and where we we're headed. This is also the highest elevation we've been at since on trail at 10,834 feet. Technically this peak is just off trail but its so close we thought, why not climb up!
About midway through our day we started to hear thunder out in the distance and quickly decided to stop at a campsite. We we're definitly glad we did be uase a short time later it started raining, then hailing. The temperature also dropped very rapidly, but fortuntly we ahd collected wood before the rain started so we were avle to build a giant campfire to keep warm that night.