Pacific Crest Trail-Section B: The Hills Have Flies

Here is the next installment of Josh’s progress on the Pacific Crest Trail. Section B goes from Warner Springs at mile 110, to Highway 10 at mile 178. For this section it is a total of about 68 miles. Leaving off from the last section:

Mile 115 to 134.5

Well I thought I’d try out cowboy camping for the first time after getting into camp late last night and not wanting to set up my tent. I got woken up early in the morning to my worst fear ever, something ran over me, twice at 1:30 in the morning. I jumped up real quick. Probably just a mouse or something. Didn’t feel like a cougar so we good. I snoozed a bit more and finally, time to begin this day pretty early. No surprise there. I trekked past many snoozing hikers along the stream. I was constantly checking Guthooks app (Guthook is an app I use for navigation along the trail.) to see where the last water would be. There’s a long stretch coming up with no water. I reached the last spot to fill up my water supply shortly into my hike. I met a gal named Sylivia there who I later found out was a retired sergeant in Reno, Nevada. I did have to make the joke about Reno 911. Like she hadn’t heard that before, but how do resist saying it? So perfect you might not get that chance again. You have to take advantage of these things. She didn’t look impressed though. I gathered my H20, filtered it, ate some snickers bars and stretched.

PCT Section B.jpg

I hydrated up before making my way up the hill which I nicknamed “The Hills Have Flies” because the endless amounts of flies. I could not even take a break because they were so bad. I tend to be getting some trail smarts though which is cool. I have snicker bars in the desert, those two things don’t go well together, as you could imagine. I started eating the Snickers for breakfast before they could melt. Live and learn people. Plus, snickers for breakfast is a dream come true.

Kitty Paws always says, “No parents, no rules out here.”


After a long uphill with flies for days, I made it to the sanctuary called Mike’s Place. Water, shade and bananas. Oh yeahhhh! Ohh yeahhh!—in your best Vector, from Despicable Me, voice—This is life made right here. I hung out at Mike’s Place with a bunch of hikers for a while, enjoying the shade and chairs. Stretching, rolling eating, all that good stuff.

Mikes Place-PCT

I used lotion to help roll out with my trekking poles and it just turned into brown lather from all the dirt caked on my legs. Embrace the dirt, or don’t actually. The crew and I all decided to hike out another four or so miles to hit mile 134.5. We walked during the cool evening. I arrived at camp and there was room to cowboy camp again. I am down to try it again I guess.

Mile 134.5 to Idyllwild 

I don’t think I really need to tell you my morning routine anymore after this. I rolled my sleeping bag up, put all my shit away, ate, stretched..yadda yadda.. I got to hiking a few hours in and holy shit this hike is hot as the devil himself. Guess what? The hills are insane. I think I’m getting used to them but I still never enjoy them. I made it to the water source and man did I need it. My shirt was drenched in sweat. I met up with the homies there and filtered my water out of the orange soiled stream. It gave the water a nice iron taste. Not the best but nothing a little Emergen-C can’t fix. Giant boulder fields and blooming cacti surround us along the trail.

Pacific Crest Trail-Idyllwild

A couple of hikers and myself utilized these two big boulders that made a nice spot of shade. I almost passed it but I needed to stop, so I did. I chilled there for a while with Jo, who is from South Africa, now living in the Yukon. She is out here raising awareness for the rhinos that get poached and are on the brink of extinction. I enjoyed her crazy mountaineering stories and experiences while we waited out the heat a little longer.

PCT Desert

The only legit shade in forever. I made it to the water cache put on by trail angel Mary at Walden. Chilled there for a few hours with a few other hikers. Mary was so thoughtful and was sending out Mothers Day post cards for hikers.

Walden-Trail AngelWater Casche-PCT

I thought I’d hike a few more miles but decided to be a boss and hiked out to Paradise Cafe. I tried hitchhiking but had no luck so I called a guy named Hurk for a ride into town at about 9 p.m.

Paradise Cafe-PCT.jpg

I got his number off of some sign on the road saying he was offering PCT hikers rides. Hurk brought me to a campground in the middle of Idyllwild. I got in super late but found a ranger who was probably getting off work because he didn’t look pleased to see me. Sorry to bug you my man. I asked him for some change so I could get a campsite but again he did not want to do that at all. Cory, a PCT hiker showed just in time and offered to pay for my campsite. He showed me around to camp and we chatted. Really helpful.

Cowboy Camping-IdylwildPacific Crest Trail Gear

Zero Zero Day in Idyllwild

I got up from the campsite pretty early and started my short walk to find a hotel. A nice couple randomly picked me up on the side of the road and asked where I was going. I told them a hotel called Creek Stone. On the way there they gave me a little tour of the cool little mountain town while I was sitting in the backseat with two big Basset Hounds. I arrived at the Stone Creek Inn where I would be taking a zero day. I was stoked.


Maryland showed me around and said I couldn’t check in quite yet. I just chilled on their nice porch and caught up on some Facebook and Instagram stuff. I did some grocery shopping, bought some pizza and ice cream. I’m telling you, you can’t go into a town without buying some sort of ice cream or gelato.

Claire, Christine and I hung out while the snow storm passed by for a couple of days. That’s my zero days in a nut shell.

Idyllwild, Up Devils Slide to Mile 193.6

What an incredible hike! Claire, Christine and I experienced all the seasons today. We were graciously shuttled by the Creek Stone owner, Lori, to the Devils Slide trail head to make our way back to the PCT. It had just dumped snow on Idyllwild the day before so we kind of knew what to expect, snow. And indeed we got just that. Lots of it.

Section B-PCT.jpg

We made back to the PCT in no time waltzing uphill through snow in our shorts and shorts sleeves. I kind of felt right at home coming from Idaho’s crazy winter. It was so beautiful; all the trees covered in glistening snow, a view of the desert on one side, the snowy Taquitz and Suicide Rock on the other.

Idyllwild-Fuller Ridge

Water was plentiful from the all the snow and rain causing flowing streams until we reached Fuller Ridge. Didn’t have to carry much water, score.

Time to go down! Way down. We finally reached our campsite in a beautiful bush garden setting with little flowers and humming birds. They would zoom by us sounding like helicopters with the deep noise from their wings fluttering so fast. We set up camp, went and filtered some water a half mile down trail and ate some campers grub. Knorr rice side for me and some homemade gluten free Chex Mix.

Mount San Jacinto

I opted for the rain fly tonight due to a past couple days filled of bad weather. Not chancing that. Overall, great day, great company, great scenery, and great campsite. 10/10 would go back to this area.

Mile 193.6 to Mile 218.5 – Whitewater Preserve

After going up Fuller Ridge you must come down. 3:30 in the morning is when I decided to because I wanted to make it to the i10 Bridge.

Pacific Crest Trail Hike.jpg

I made 12 miles before like 9:30 a.m. I ended up at the water faucet that shot water straight up at the bottom of the long, boulder filled hill. Switchback after switch back.

Idyllwild to Cabazon

I hung out at the fountain for a minute and had a snack or two with my new friend Phillip who is a wilderness therapy guy.

After a short road walk came a long sand walk under some power lines, I could see the highway, so close but yet so far. Under the bridge, finally it has come! Trail magic, shade and all. I met back up with Rick, who now goes by Grams not Kitty Paws. Grams, as in he cuts little labels and tags off things to be ultralight.

Fuller RidgeI10 Bridge-PCT

This is also where I met the Legend himself. Yes, his trail name is Legend. Shortly after chilling came along another trail angel named Hillbilly.

I quote, “I’m Hillbilly cause I drink moonshine all day and I don’t give a f***.”

He offered rides to bring people to his home for shelter, brought drinks and chips. I couldn’t have timed that any more perfectly. Now, as many of you may know, I don’t like being around the parties so I knew his house would be exactly that kind of atmosphere, and I heard it was so I’m glad I decided to push on. After a short contemplation I decided to hike 7 more miles at 2 in the afternoon when the temperature is at it’s finest.

Thru Hike-PCT.jpg

It actually wasn’t bad because it was cloudy so I knew I had take advantage of that. I knew a climb or five was coming so I hit it again with Phillip. I had a goal of getting there for Legend’s Trail Magic Spaghetti. I don’t even know why, I can’t even eat it. I guess it’s the thought of spaghetti? I made it to top of the first big hill, drank my water and gave Phillip a trekking pole high five. Looking down, I mean straight, pretty steep down, hill was coming. I literally just slid part of the way, kind of fun actually. I was like okay, I’m down, home stretch. Nope. Back up again, and back down and up and down. I am building legs of an Iron Man. 7 p.m. rolls around and so does the Whitewater Preserve after a short .5 mile river crossing.


I was so happy to be there. I saw a whole bunch of people there including Legend ready to make his magical spaghetti. I, of course being gluten free, couldn’t have it but opted to join them anyways just to be social and not a loner. Legend also decided he’d make pancakes and coffee in the morning for everyone. Such a legend! And again, no pancakes for me. That’s okay because I was prepared with my own meal.

Whitewater Preserve-PCT.jpg

Anyways, Highway 10 was the end of Section B so stay tuned for more. Thanks for supporting me and reading these long posts! Also, the photo quality is lacking due to my phone being my camera. But hey, it’s about the memories right?



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