PCT Day 25 – Big Bear Nero

3.9 miles, near 252.1

So much to say about today.

• Alarm went off at 455 so we could break camp and get a lot of miles in before it rained.

• Didn’t get all the wind as expected last night. Very calm this morning, woke up with all the songbirds and woodpeckers. It’s cloudy, but was able to witness an intense sunrise for 2 minutes before it turned back to gray.

• After a few miles, Carie was feeling dizzy and really down. We walked until we reached an access point to the highway and tried to get a hitch into big bear. Not many cars going north, but a lady stopped for us after waiting about 15 minutes.

• She dropped us off in big bear city at a small motel, which kinda left us stranded. Most of the restaurants and places we needed are in big bear lake 5 miles west. There’s a local trail angel “papa smurf” that hosts hikers and gives rides around town, so we called him and he drove us to the health clinic to get Carie checked out. She was feeling achy like the flu, but she was likely just dehydrated and experiencing mild altitude sickness.

• We got an Uber to downtown big bear lake and ate at the Indian restaurant. It was the best masala I’d ever eaten. I was so full but hungry again 4 hours later.

• Papa smurf picked us up after lunch and we settled in at his house. We reunited with a couple friends and went back to the village for beers, Mexican food, and a milkshake.

• We started talking to an older couple next to us, they gave us a ride back to the house. The lady wanted to buy our “dinner” (the milkshake, we ate ate dinner somewhere else), but didn’t have her wallet, only enough cash for her meal. She drove home, got $100, and drove back to give the 5 of us $20 each. So incredibly generous! We are building up a lot of good karma to pay forward.

• There were a few hikers at the house before we arrived, then a few more arrived, then another group even later. We setup our stuff on a triple decker bunk bed. I counted at least 14 hikers in the house, spread out on the couches and floor. I think there may have been even more outside in a big tent with cots.

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