Friday, May 29, 2009

Big Bear City, CA

So, after Idyllwild, I was feeling back to normal and hiked back out via the Devils Slide Rock Trail which takes you back to the PCT.  I felt fine on the entire climb back to the PCT and I camped after about 9 miles of hiking that day. Then I descended from Mt. San Jacinto Wilderness 8,000 vertical feet in 16 long, hot, switchbacked, curvy, hot, brush filled miles of trail.  I then slept that night just south of I-10 and unfortunately right next to a railroad line that was quite active.  Those factors did not really bother me, it was the constant winds that supply the wind farm across the interstate with energy that threw my tent around all night.  I woke up with my tent collapsed on top of me and finally decided to start hiking around 6.  The Mesa Wind Park had an office a few miles up the PCT that offered cold water and some shade to rest so I headed in to take a load off at about 930.  When I came back out the heat was already picking up and I knew I had to get to the next water source and find some shade by noon at the latest.  So, that's what I did and I rotated around the shade of a pointy little tree until about 6 in the afternoon.  Then I decided to boogey on out and the temperature was amazing, so I made some real good time to the next water source.  It was there I decided I was going to eat dinner and hike as far in to the night as I could.  That plan however was spoiled when I started throwing up again after dinner.  After losing all of those calories I needed I decided the best thing to do would be rest, get up early, and hike back out, because Big Bear was still 40 some odd miles away.  So I back tracked about 18 miles with little to no energy and finally got back to the Mesa Wind Park Office at noon.  I then informed my parents about the situation and Mr. Haley got in touch with a friend of a friend to come pick me up nearby in Cabazon, CA.  Don Gatch picked me up and got me to an urgent care center to make sure I was alright.  The consensus was basically Heat Exhaustion and I once again underestimated the sun.  Don made sure I got a place to stay for the night and that I was squared away.  After refueling and getting more fluids down I posted a ride for a shuttle to Big Bear City, where I was going to meet up with Kobie and Tom once again, on the PCT email thread I receive.  Then Rick Press, who bought me my Jose Burger at Paradise Cafe South of Idyllwild, responded on the blog that he could probably help out. So about 10 o'clock yesterday he picked me up and we arrived in Big Bear at lunch time and I caught up with Tom and Kobie.  Now we have rented a car and drove down to Rancho Cuchamango (spelling?) to get to a mac store where Kobie has now just received a new iphone after his previous one malfunctioned.  So I'm enjoying a nice zero day, remembering how to drive a vehicle, and might even see a movie tonight.  We'll be heading out tomorrow and the final stretch of harsh desert is awaiting us.  We are looking forward to the challenge and I will keep you updated.  Tom and Kobie's website is here.  They just updated it last night.  

Fly low and beat the radar,



one of the Haleys said...

Spencer, I sure hope things are going to get better and better from now on. I'm so sorry for the set-backs and that we never heard from our other friends that first night you called us. I'm SURE glad for Don, the friend of our friend Greg French. Does that make Don a "trail angel?" It sure makes him a great person! I hope you have no more bad days. (I can't imagine eating a bunch of pancakes before a hot day of hiking, but maybe I just go too heavy on the syrup!)
Best wishes from here on out.

Beryl said...

Hang in there, Spencer! Everything will smooth out, and you'll get your groove back.
Just BE SAFE!!

Spencer's Mom said...

For those interested in a Warpzilla Update:
Spencer called me on Sunday (5-31-09) around 2:15 P.M. EST (11:15 A.M. California time) and he, Tom, and Kobie had already hiked 14 miles since sun up. He said they were breaking for lunch at some picnic tables just off the trail. (Now that's a visual...picnic tables in the desert. I love it!! I knew Spencer should have packed my red and white gingham checked tablecloth for occasions such as this!!) Spencer reported that he is doing great. (He has promised to continue to be honest with his parents about how he's feeling, etc.) As a result of Spencer changing the following: 1) his water purification technique, 2) carrying even more water, 3) using the NUUN tablets as an electrolyte hydration supplement - just as he and Bandana Ben did on the AT, 4)including more protein and carbs, to his diet and 5) hiking with other humans (Tom and Kobie are awesome!), Spencer already sees improvement physically and mentally. This is great considering he is embarking on the most challenging section of the desert on the PCT. Spencer and his family realize that he could not have logged as many miles as he has and be forging onward had it not been for the many "trail angels" that have directly and indirectly assisted him. God is good! Many, many thanks to everyone who has helped Spencer both far and near, called to inquire about him and for keeping him in your thoughts and prayers. We all continue to marvel at his perseverance and determination to fulfill yet another dream. Stay tuned for another Spencer update and here's to finding an unexpected oasis...
Zoezilla (AKA: Momzilla)