PCT Day 19 – Cabazon and Banning

19.5 miles, near 207.0

• Tried waking up at 5am again, still too dark. It’s depressing. Should get easier as the sunrise creeps earlier

• I went to let the air out of my sleeping pad, and accidentally pulled the valve straight off, which is pretty catastrophic. Doesn’t look repairable.

• We could see a patch of blue sky from camp at 8600 feet, but walked through ominous fog in the forest and cloudy skies before it cleared late in the afternoon.

• The trees were collecting condensation from the fog and making it “rain” just under the big trees.

• First section we hiked in the morning was the infamous Fuller Ridge, notorious among hikers as a very difficult section of trail due to snow and steepness. I imagined it as a rocky saddle between mountains, super exposed and treacherous. Turns out it’s just a walk through the woods on a steep incline. We did use our micro spikes for the snow, but it was already soft and slushy, so they didn’t help very much.

• There is a wind farm at the base of the mountain, we could start to hear the turbines as we got lower.

• We descended over 7500 feet to get from camp to the desert floor. I know my feet will have a few minor blisters tomorrow. We could see our final destination from up high, so the time it took us to get down seemed to take extra long.

• Carie was hiking in front of me a ways and rolled her ankle, but I didn’t see it before she started hiking again.

• We got off the trail near Cabazon. A couple of our friends had plans to stay nearby in Banning. I need a new sleeping pad, and it sounds like Carie probably needs a rest for her ankle. Once we got to the hotel, she took her shoe off, the ankle is pretty swollen.

• We went for Thai food and had the whole restaurant to ourselves.

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