Last Business for the PCT, Idyllwild, CA, 11.8.18

For a mere 3 miles or so of trail in Idyllwild, CA, it took quite a bit to get there and will take a quite a bit to explain.

As most of you know, some of my hiking involves long distance trails.  Since I have completed the AT and the PCT, I do think that eventually I will complete the CDT, which will make what is called the Triple Crown.  With this in mind, I checked to make sure that I was meeting the requirements for a Triple Crown – crazy to do all that work and find out you didn’t do it right!  ALDHA-West the body that governs the Triple Crown award, says:

“Entirety” includes walking from terminus to terminus with complete footsteps. We understand that detours happen when trails experience things such as wild fires, washouts, and other situations. ALDHA-West just asks that before you apply for your award that you either walked an alternate at the time or came back at a later date to complete a missed section, making your hike a continuous footpath.

Hmmm. Continuous footpath.  I completed missing sections in CA, OR and WA for the PCT this summer, but there remained one little connector in Idyllwild, CA.  Due to a fire closure, I walked the long detour into Idyllwild, but going out, I did not hike the Ernie Maxwell Trail or walk the road to connect town to the Devil’s Slide Trail (which leads back to the PCT, past the closure).  I took a shuttle ride.  So, for my own conscience sake, IF I ever apply for the Triple Crown – there is still the matter of 3,000 miles of CDT to do – I figured I’d better go back and connect those steps.

My husband had a business trip in San Jose, so I flew out with him a plan to connect the steps in Idyllwild and then visit Joshua Tree National Park. Checked my bag, and got settled in for the short one hour or so flight from San Jose, CA to Ontario, CA.  Let the adventure begin!

It surely did the moment that I stood at the baggage claim carousel and realized my bag wasn’t there.  The nice lady at the baggage service area said the next plane from San Jose would be in at 3:30pm.  It was only 10:30am.  What to do?  Pick up the rental car and get lunch, of course.  4:00pm, I’m back at the airport, but my bag is not.

Where is it?  Indianapolis.  Yep, that’s right, Indianapolis.  I have no earthly idea how that happened.

So when was that plane coming in?  11:30pm, from Tampa, through Indianapolis, then Denver and finally to Ontario, CA.  Oh and the last baggage delivery shuttle leaves at 11:00pm and Idyllwild is still one and a half hours away.  “We can bring it to you in the morning.”  Nope, I’ll wait for it, since all I had with me was my purse.

Now what?  Like a true thru-hiker, change plans on the fly.  I got a local hotel room, dinner and a nap.  Back at the airport at 12:20am due a delayed plane, I finally see my one piece of luggage on the carousel.  Wonders never cease.


12:20am. Yay! Southwest gets my bag back to me!

After another nap and breakfast I was ready to take on the Los Angeles freeways.  Thankfully, I was going outbound, not inbound!  I also lived two year in Los Angeles, and driving skills on the large freeways come back, just like riding a bicycle.


Four lanes east bound, a five level interchange and caffeine. Welcome to LA.

Needless to say, it was a nice drive to Idyllwild and I am glad I did not do the 20 miles of twisty mountain road driving from the freeway to Idyllwild in the dark the previous night.  I’ve been there and done that in California and Washington State, already, thanks.

It was a beautiful, cool, blue-bird sky day and the hike was actually pleasant and easy.  I did not see too many people, even saw a deer and made sure those steps were connected!  I’m not sure I or my luggage need any extra travel at this point.


One end of the Ernie Maxwell Trail. I walked to this point from the grocery store because I could not remember whether I passed this or not on my way into town last year. In fairness, it was at the end of a hot, 24+ mile day. Not messing up the connected steps this time.


Saw this nice little doe on the way up the Ernie Maxwell Trail.


Trail head for the Devil’s Slide Trail. This is where I hiked back to the PCT last year and needed to get to this year. Done!


View out to the valley from the road to Idyllwild with the I-10 below. I crossed this valley last year on a very hot day and hid out under the I-10 for a while, thankful for the trail magic left by gracious trail angels.

Looking forward to more adventures in 2019, at least for me, not my luggage!




3 thoughts on “Last Business for the PCT, Idyllwild, CA, 11.8.18

  1. I always enjoy reading your reports and seeing the photos you took of your adventures. They give me inspiration to do more hiking. I’m looking forward to reading about your next adventure. Thanks, richard. P. S. I spoke with you a couple of weeks ago on my way up Mt. Tecumseh.

    • Great to hear from you again, Richard! Yes, I remember meeting you on Tecumseh. I figured I’d better get with some extra reading material for you. 😉 Keep hiking!

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