The morning was frigid, and it was difficult to pry ourselves out of our warm, cocoon-like sleeping bags. We did not warm up until we hiked out of the narrow, forested canyon.
The rolling hills outside Big Bear are a transitional landscape, with prickly pears and Joshua trees nestled in the shade of scrubby pine trees and squat junipers. A maze of use trails and unmarked dirt roads crisscross the PCT in this area, making navigation challenging at times. We meandered over and around several hills and ridges before our circuitous route finally reached the PCT trailhead at Highway 18, heading to Big Bear.
We have now completed just over 265 miles, approximately one tenth of the trail. We will be taking a rest day in Big Bear tomorrow, and then we will be back on the trail, heading north.