0.23 miles North of Animal Cages to 0.36 miles South of Unpaved Road 2N02
Last night was another cold one, but not quite as cold as the night before. The tent site was flat and really comfortable allowing us to sleep until 7:15 am. By 9:35 we were ready to go for what promises to be one of the easiest days of hiking.
At the start of the hike we got one more nice view of Mount San Gregornio...and to get a PCT sign in the picture is bonus.
After one hour of hiking, we turned a bend and got a glimpse of where we are headed...Big Bear Lake.
Soon after the view we came across this PCT magic site. This is by far the best hiker cache yet with sodas, cookies, fresh apples, and my favorite item...tissues (it's the little things these days that make us happy).
After signing the register we saw that the angel of this cache is the Big Bear Hostel that many PCT hikers stay at. So, one mile later when I had cell service, I got online and made our reservation to stay there two nights starting tomorrow night.
Now with the reservation in place, all we had to do is hike there...only 14 miles to go at this point.
Today was a day of hiking along beautiful trees. Maybe it was the deep blue sky today, but the trees really seemed to stand out.
By lunch we has made it almost 6 miles and came across the Arrastre Trail Camp.
We were so excited by the fact that we could eat on picnic benches that we decided to cook dinner for lunch instead of eating our cold lunch. While there we met a local hiker that retired as a zoologist from the San Diego zoo. He was there when the zoo renovated from cages to natural habitats. He was fascinating.
Anyway, I would like to do a shout out to Jordan Daniel for he best placement of a picnic bench EVER!
Another reason we decided to cook at this point is because we knew there was a water source 1/2 mile up the trail. This is a natural spring coming out of the side of the mountain and it tastes so good (after proper filtering of course).
After a little down and a little up and then a little down we left the forest and entered a more desert environment where the trail became even easier than earlier.
Here we had our first sighting of Joshua Trees and a giant desert turtle:
Just 4.5 miles short of our exit to Big Bear Lake we decided to make camp since we came across a flat spot that we just couldn't pass up. Now we should easily make it to town by noon and have all afternoon and all the next day to get our town chores done and relax.