Finding Our Way in Tahquitz Valley

Day 12. Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Start: Somewhere above Idyllwild

Stop: Idyllwild

Mikes Hiked: 6.5

I am writing his at a hotel in Idyllwild. So I guess you can say that I made it. It's weird. This morning, Ken and I were fighting 8 foot high snow banks all the way around Tahquitz valley. I felt like I always do in the morning: sick like I want to puke. The snow makes for tough hiking. And slow.

After two plus hours of snow hiking, never completely sure where we were, we found the junction signs for the trail to Idyllwild. After going over a few snow drifts on that trail, none large enough to mask where the trail goes, we were down to Humber Park in Idyllwild, in a flash -- 2000 foot drop, 2 miles.

We are staying at Tahquitz Inn. It's $50 for a wonderful room with a shower, stove, kitchen, TV, Phone, everything. There is a laundry mat down the road. We did laundry first thing, then showered, and then went on the "Red Kettle" and had a wonderful cheese burger and fries, and onion rings.

Then we walked all over the town, shopping, had ice cream, bought supplies, and got our hiking poles fixed. Ken bought a new shirt -- his old shirt popped two buttons. We went into the hiking store twice, and had a great time talking to the owner. He is quite a hiker himself.

We had ice cream. Then bought more ice cream at the grocery store to eat later. Then we got in the hot tub at the hotel and soaked for 45 minutes.

Anyway my point is that "city" life is wonderful, even when you have to walk all over the place to get anything. Trail life makes you enjoy city life all the much more.

However, as a note to myself, walking (hiking) the trail is HARD. On this trip, I told myself, many times, that I would NEVER do this again. Not even a section at a time.

The trail is beautiful. It is fun to be outdoors. It feels good to know you can take care of your self at any point: in a storm, rain, cold, or hot. Whenever the going gets too tough, you can stop, rest, eat, sleep, make yourself warm, and take care of all you needs. Everything you need is on your back. Amazing.

In a big way, I am sad I am going home tomorrow, and leaving the trail. Part of me wants to do the whole thing. Who am I kidding? I do want to do the whole thing. Its been a dream of mine for a long time. God doesn't grant all my dreams… but He has for very many of them. Maybe in His time, I will be able to do it.

But on the other hand, I don't want to forget the difficulty and the uncomfortableness of doing the actual hike, day after day, is HARD. There are times that I HATE hiking.