Saturday, April 26, 2014

Days 12-15 - Idyllwild and the Kick Off

Airing sleeping bags outside, at the Idyllwild Inn
Well, these were some very uneventful days.

On my first day in Idyllwild I went over to a doctor there, and she told me I should just take 600ml of Advil after every meal, and keep my foot iced. She also charged me $65.
For the next two days I spent most of my time sitting in my hotel room, occasionally icing my foot, reading stuff on my phone, and sometimes going out for a pizza or a veggie burger. Idan, on the mean time, watched movies and TV series on his phone.
Idan did manage to get us a ride to the ADZPCTKO (Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off) with a very nice lady named Kay, who came over and picked us up at the Inn on Thursday evening. She also picked up Cat Dogs from the Inn, and brought over Sunshine from Ziggy and The Bear (a hostel two days North of us).
We finally got to the Kick Off campground at Lake Morena at around 21:00, and found our campsite and set our tents.
The gear vendors at the Kick Off
We met up with Roi and Sarit (first time I see them since they started their hike), and also finally met Gilad, who just started about a day earlier, and hiked into the KO.
During the two days here we went to some interesting presentations about fire, bears, plants along the trail (not so interesting), and other trail subjects.
There were also a lot of equipment vendors here, selling their stuff to the hundreds of hikers around. I got Henry Shires (founder of TarpTent) to fix a tear in my tent, and send me a pole section to a post office further down the trail, I got Samurai Joe (founder of zPacks) to replace the hip belt pocket of my pack to one with velcro instead of a buckle, and the velcro in my quilt to a buckle, and also the Gossamer Gear crew to send me a new basket for my hiking pole. Overall, a good day (or two).
I also bought a fleece beanie, and StickPic (so I will be able to take selfies with my hiking pole and a timer).
We also spent two hours at the entrance, directing the incoming traffic towards the registration table. At least Yogi brought us cheese toasts and beer.
A hiker (Later named "Sizzler") before his first day on the trail, with his wife
The second night here had terrible weather. Hard rain wind were pounding to tent all night. I remained dry, but my shoes, that remained in the tent's vestibule, got wet. Oh well. Many people got soaked, and many tents were over turned during the night, so I was lucky.
It was drizzling and cold here all day, and we just wanted to get back on the trail, hopefully at some better weather. Gilad decided to head out to Mt Laguna today, so I hope he had an OK hike, with the rain and all. We also met several hikers who just started their trail now, including two Israeli guys, Yonatan and Dor, who didn't prepare much, or check anything on the Internet before coming here. I suspect the carry a lot of excessive gear, but they didn't want to get a gear shakedown from us, or from the professionals at the Wolverines booth. I hope they enjoy their hike.
Hikers getting dinner
This night we are crashing inside the cabin that Kay, our ride from and to Idyllwild, has. It's not very big, but we are cramming here along with Roi and Sarit, and Cat Dog, a fellow hiker who came along with us from Idyllwild. It's going to be cozy.