Day 21: Retreat

Started: Mission Camp (240.0)

Ended: Big Bear Lake (250.0)

Total: 10.0 miles plus 6.0 bonus miles

Fishtank, Little John and I got up at five. Having eaten all our remaing food, we had plenty of energy and made it to the escape point, ten miles away by 11:30. We hitched into Big Bear Lake.

I looked pretty sweaty, and I smelled worse.

The white crusty stuff on my shirt? That is all the salt from my sweat.

After checking in to our hotel, we showered. The washcloth will never be used again. The EPA will declare it a Superfund site and require it to be burned by fire.

Clean, Fishtank and I started the critical process of recovery. That meant calories, delicious calories.

We linked up with Little John and we committed to helping him out. He told him that we would do a complete shakedown and help him with a better resupply strategy.

I needed to make some gear changes, so I stopped off at the Big 5 Sporting Goods store in Big Bear Lake. Unfortunately, the zipper on my Outdoor Research Helium II broke. As I wear a down jacket, it is critical that I do not allow it to get wet. A wet down jacket is asking for hypothermia. My plan is to send the outer shell home and hopefully my wife can get Outdoor Research to replace it as it should last longer than 20 days into a thru-hike. In the meantime I bought a set of Froggtoggs to tide me over until this is ultimately resolved.

I’ve also decided to eliminate the use of paper maps which I’m not using, so that also means I can send home my heavy compass. This will save me roughly half a pound of base weight. As I’m hiking in a group and we all have smartphones the likelihood of all of us losing our smartphones is very unlikely, the trail is well-marked, and we are working together effectively as a team. I will still carry a small compass that’s attached to my backpack, and I have a compass on my phone as well, so I still have two compasses.

A trail angel by the name of Scott came by and took the three of us to get our laundry done, so we didn’t have to ride the local bus, and he gave us a tour of the different entrance points that run near Big Bear Lake.

No longer hungry and chores done we called it a night early.

3 thoughts on “Day 21: Retreat

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