In 106 miles the trail comes within a quarter mile of a McDonald's. And beyond that there's always the walkable towns like Warner Springs or the hitchable towns like Julian I've been to so far. Dinner spots are hard to come by.
The next town on the map, Big Bear Lake, will require about a 10 miles hitch. Certainly dinner and beer are in order.
In the meantime though I carry my food for as long of a stretch as required.
As I write this I've just finished night 5 of 7 on the roughly 90 mile stretch between Idyllwild and the hitch to Big Bear Lake.
If you're PCT savy you'll know that I'm up to no good walking this many miles between Idyllwild and Big Bear Lake. If you're not, just wait for the next post, and I'll explain.
Packing 7 days of food to carry over 90 miles is an art to some. Weight is a consideration equally balanced by hunger. Afterall, before this strecth is done, I'll have taken my food up to 10,834 feet on Mt San Jacinto, down to 1,342 feet crossing Interstate-10, and then back up to 8,700 feet on my way to Big Bear Lake. So you can see there's some incentive for hikers to spend countless hours crafting the perfect day-by-day diet.
I am not an artist in this regard.
While many send pre-planned meal boxes to various towns along the way, with all the right food stuffings, I just make use of the food in town, most recently Idyllwild. I have sent no boxes, and therfore planning has been easy.
And after 5 nights I can speak a little bit to the execution.
My Idyllwild grocery cart to get me 7 days down the trail (some food items were left over from Warner Springs):
- Seven (7) boxes of mac & cheese
- Six (6) packages of tuna
- Two (2) packages of instant mashed potatoes
- Two (2) packages of Ramen Noodles
- One (1) jar of peanut butter
- Eight (8) Clif Bars
- Four (4) protein bars
- One (1) jar of powdered Gatorade
- One (1) package of Sour Patch Kids
- One (1) package of Twix bites
*Ad the same 13 oz fuel cannister I've been using from the start of the trail
After night five I have probably three (3) boxes of mac & cheese left (all in one bag), three (3) packages of tuna, half a jar of peanut butter, one (1) protein bar, and one (1) Clif Bar.
I'm hungry, but not starving. I'll bring more food next time. Thirty miles to go.