Started: Tent Site (230.9)
Ended: Mission Camp (239.9)
Total: 9.0 miles
We woke up at 4 a.m. with a plan to hike until the last good water source at Mission Camp. Both Fishtank and I do not have enough food to make it to the normal Big Bear exit at mile 266.
We both have enough food to last two more days, but we don’t have enough calories to do a big push.
We hiked in the dark, trying to follow the trail as best as we can. The Mission Creek area switches between gravel and marsh. As we advanced, I became tangled in some brush. I tripped over a log. I felt something jab me in the stomach, so I rolled hard.
It turns out that the log had a large branch sticking out that was quite sharp. Had I not rolled, I could have been impaled. Fishtank was very concerned. I brushed it off a bit, but in this case, it was nearly a nasty accident.
After the sun came up we ran into John from Alabama. He is 50 years old and started two weeks before us. He is struggling, badly.
We hiked through a burned out section of the trail. At one time this was a beautiful section, but now it is a wasteland of dead trees, rocks and charcoal. We stopped at was we thought was the last water hole at 238.7.
There Fishtank and I discussed how we were going to get out of this mess. Neither one of us had phone reception, but he did have a satellite pager. John from Alabama had extra food.
So, we developed a plan. Fishtank contacted a local trail angel. They told us we could bail at mile 250 and get to Big Bear. With that, our food problems were solved. Turns out that this is a very common problem.
Fishtank and I discussed in detail how to avoid getting into this problem in the future. We must change how we eat.
My biggest issue about the heat is that I get thirsty. When I drink, my stomach is full, therefore I don’t eat. I could bore you with how the body transfers calories, but your liver stores reserves. It will pass it on to where it is needed, but once it is used up, it needs calories. While I have plenty of fat on me, it takes time to convert it to energy and backpacking burns calories faster than fat is converted. Therefore, I hit the wall.
Getting to town, resting a day, properly resupplying and eating is what we will do and will consider this a learning lesson.
After things cooled off, we advanced to a nice campsite. As we started to set up camp, all these other hikers started coming up. Many we thought we in front of us. Most were out of food. Turns out that what we thought was a failure on our part was a common problem even to hikers half our age.
We ate our last meals. Tomorrow we strike out for mile 250.