Under The Bridge
Updated: Aug 21, 2019
Mile 209.5 | Cabazon, CA
Ok so I made it down the San Jacinto mountains (pictured above behind tunnel!) and my knee is starting to feel a little better. I had to side step down the majority of the descent to shift my momentum from linear to lateral in order to prevent further strain on my knee. It worked! Pain is a great motivator and challenges you to think creatively. I eventually started to grapevine to gain a little speed. I guess all those warm ups in lacrosse and gym class paid off! :) But truthfully, plyometrics are important for coordination and agility. Out here it is a prerequisite. While I was passing through this section, I repeatedly saw signs posted for a missing person and his pack. The search and rescue team was out with cadaver dogs looking for any trace of the hiker. Unfortunately, there was no trace and the harsh reality is that he probably lost his footing, and fell into the spires below. Mother Nature is no joke. The wind is brutal, you're tired, hungry, dehydrated, lightheaded and accidents can happen to even the most fit and experienced hiker. As a safeguard for myself I try to be as aware as possible and listen to my body. My most basic needs are of the utmost importance and it is literally a matter of life or death. There are so many hikers I see push and push and deny their pain. Stubbornness gets the best of them. This only makes it worse.
We are all learning from each other out here, everyone on the trail has your back. I have yet to meet someone I received a bad vibe from. I even encountered a couple of homeless people kickin' it on the trail. It freaked me out at first, but honestly they mean no harm. However, you can understand my trepidation as I approached the Highway 10 underpass that would lead me through Cabazon, CA towards Whitewater Preserve, an oasis I had been looking forward to reaching. As I approached the bridge I was like oh god I hope there’s not homeless ppl under there!! Eek going to push through to Whitewater...
But you know what was under there?! A sense of community and safety I have never experienced before. There were about 10 hikers under there and more came as the day went on. Some of the other hikers I met previously and some were new friends. There was trail magic at it's finest under there too! Mary Poppins, whom I had met previously, was offering IN-N-OUT burgers and Bud Light. Umm yess please!! Another trail angel couple stopped by dropping off chips and salsa, waters, soda, and a ton of other snacks! It was truly magical. We had a picnic under the bridge and watched the train go by in front of the mountains we had just out of. A Marine hiker had informed me that there was some weather passing through the next set of mountains and it would probably be unwise to continue on. I didn't want to battle with the wind again so I decided to camp under the bridge with them for the night and head for Whitewater in the morning when the wind was expected to die down. I’m a hobo bridge person now and I couldn’t be happierrrrrrrrrr.
Don't forget, if you would like to contribute to my personal fundraiser for Protect Our Winters to offset the cost of global warming. Take a stand now and support POW by visiting their website, or follow their initiatives on Facebook. If you would like to donate, Great!! Here's the link, https://classy.org/fundraiser/1276834 my goal is to raise $1 for every mile I hike on the PCT, a total of 2,660 miles. Thank you for rising up for the world and your future.