We awake early and rejuvenated. After a couple weeks on trail, and a limited number of showers, we are ready for a little break. And, today it’s within reach once we get to Idylwild. But first we have some snow to cross.
We spot Dimebag packing up his gear as Rachel and I drink our coffee. We’ve run out of breakfast so caffeine will have to carry us.
As we pack up our gear, Rachel sings. Dimebag, trying not to impose asks, “Are you guys planning to head out soon?”
“Yeah” we respond, “we’re planning to head out shortly.”
Dimebag asks if he can join us on the way out. He clearly doesn’t want to impose but he’d like company on the slog through the snow. I would too.
“Of course” we say, “we should be ready in just a couple minutes”.
Soon enough the three of us are plopping through the snow following the crusty tracks of hikers who’ve come before us.
Dimebag thanks us for letting him join us and says Rachel’s singing helped lift his spirits this morning. We enjoy his company as well.
The snow is better quality than yesterday afternoon. I’m thankful that we waited. At times the footsteps we follow stray from the traditional trail, but we follow them anyways and eventually get back on track and make a short day of our escape from San Jacinto.
As we descend from Saddle Junction we see several hikers from days past. Many have been resting in Idylwild. One is setting out to catch the tram into Palm Springs. As you pass each hiker you start to wonder which ones you will cross paths with again, further up the trail.
When we arrive into Idylwild, Dimebag treats us to Mexican food as we wait for Rachel’s Uncle Eddie to meet us. We chat about various topics, often coming back to hiking, or the trail and the snow we walked through together.
As Uncle Eddie arrives, we say goodbye to Dimebag hoping to see him up the trail. Then we shuttle into Palm Springs, and sweat as the heat increases. We rest and eat and stare at the mountains, pointing at the snow, “that’s where we were”.
It’s good to be still for a moment and with family. But eventually the trail does call. And as our legs awake restored they’re prepared to answer.