Ziggy and the Bear(210.8) to Onyx Summit(252.1) 41.3 Miles skipped due to fire closure
Private Zoo(250.3) to Arrastre Trail Camp(256.2) 5.9 Miles
What a strange day! We have been on edge about this day since we started the trail. The dreaded Lake Fire closure has no official alternate. Some people road walked to get around the closure. Other people chose to illegally walk through it. We were responsible hikers and shuttled around. Last night we signed up to take the first shuttle to the San Bernardino transit station. After about an hour drive and a ten dollar donation, Devil Fish, dropped us off at the bus station. Since we were early we walked to Starbucks and got breakfast. Thanks Uncle Jim and Aunt Sharron for my gift card. I really enjoyed my latte and breakfast sandwich.
The bus ride to Big Bear Lake was mostly amusing, but after about an hour on the winding roads we all felt a little car sick. The only people on the bus were hikers. It seems like they are keeping that line open due to hiker trash money.
Once in Big Bear Lake we were all a little lost. Everybody spent so much time figuring out how to get there that we never considered how to get to the trailhead. Everybody had slightly different priorities. I needed to resupply so I went looking for a grocery store. After a quick trip to Dollar General and Von's grocery I was all set. We decided to meet back up at a local burger joint called "Get The Burger". It was fantastic. The staff was extremely hiker friendly and the burgers were amazing. If you ever find yourself in Big Bear Lake you need to stop by.
The fire closure ended at mile 252.1, but of course that is the most difficult place to get back on the trail at. The easiest place was at mile 266, but we didn't want to skip even more of the pct. As we were discussing our options, not that we had many options, the owner of the restaurant started talking to us. In the end, he offered to shuttle all 7 of us to the trailhead after he closed at 2. It was an extremely generous offer. We waited for a few hours and as promised in between lunch and dinner shifts he packed all 7 of us into his Suburban and took us to the trailhead.
Once the trail was located we decided to hike south for 2 miles instead of going north right away. Our trail guide said there was an exotic animal zoo on the trail. The owner uses these animals in Hollywood films. Everyone was really excited to see it. We hid our packs in the woods and hurried the 2 miles(technically this part of the trail was closed) to see the lions, tigers, and bears. Upon arrival we were instantly disappointed. As it turns out majestic creatures in tiny cages in the middle of the woods is just sad. I didn't even take a picture. On the way back to our packs we worked on another riddle. Riddles have become my favorite way to kill time on the trail.
The remaining 4 miles to our campsite was pretty tough. The trail was filled with sharp jagged rocks that beat the hell out of my feet.
We hurriedly set up camp in the middle of very high winds. I decided to just cowboy camp instead of trying to wrangle my tent into place. Rumor has it this location has frequent visits by black bears so for the first time in the pct we are hanging our food. I still haven't lost my touch. I hit a tree limb on my first throw and looked like an expert. Outro and Evac can't say the same, although we all had a good laugh at their expense.
Hopefully we can avoid anymore trail closures for the rest of the hike. I'm fed up with the additional stress they cause.
Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.