9 hiking days. 180 miles complete! I’m here in Idyllwild taking a zero day. That means that I am hiking no miles today other than to go get breakfast, go food shopping and visit the library. The hike is going well. The usual blisters, pain and sore muscles but good people, glowing scenery and epic trail magic. There certainly have been some low days but the hiker trash moving up the trail with me, perhaps without even knowing it, have given me just the boost needed to push on. It’s a low water year and the desert flora are just starting to bloom. The sweet smelling plants meld with the sun and dusty trail to create a diverse scene. It’s all about water out here and distances traveled are dictated by its availability. 23 mile waterless stretch? Ok, then I will hike 23 miles in one day. Climbing out of the desert found us traversing the San Jacinto mountains. As I climbed over 8,500 feet in between the rocky peaks, the clouds ripped through as the wind howled. For the daily summary of my trek visit the Class of 2013 link to the right.