Monday, April 26, 2021
Elevation gain/loss: 7579’/6900′
Start: one of the last Mission Creek campsites
End: Highway 18/Big Bear Lake
I was up at 4am and on trail by 4:45am. As I started packing up, I heard a light mist start to land on the tent, so I hurried to put away everything while it was still dry. Within 15 minutes, it was lightly raining. As I climbed up out of the canyon, it turned to freezing rain and then finally into earnest snow. I put on my rain shell and wool gloves and kept moving, and I felt warm enough.
After following their footsteps for a while, I passed Jenny and Wildflower around 9am. After 4 hours of snow and 2-3 inches on the ground, the storm mostly stopped, though the day’s high was only 40 degrees so I had to keep moving to stay warm.
I passed by the very sad private zoo and was grateful to not see any animals. Perhaps 4 miles from town, as I was hiking across a scrub-filled mountainside, I looked up to see a large fluffy tail and found it connected to a lone coyote, which ran off as soon as it saw me looking back at it.
I arrived at the trailhead for Highway 18 to Big Bear around 3pm. Joe who runs the hiker shuttle was at the trailhead and offered to take me to the Vons grocery store. He also provided some much needed intel; I’d been hesitantly considering a trail angel that ran a small hostel out of his house but decided against it when I heard he had ‘Trump 2024’ painted on his house. Joe helpfully offered the names of a number of different motels in the area, and gave me a ride to my chosen motel after I finished grocery shopping.
I had a lovely night at the Robinhood Resort, did my laundry at a laundromat, and ate a grocery store dinner of a bagged salad, canned soup, and microwaved tamales. I also showered twice and deeply enjoyed the soft bed.