Day 9: Seven Hours in Paradise


9 April 2021
Base of Lookout Mountain to Highway 74
PCT Mile 149.9 to 151.9

It was windy again last night and I still had to battle the slow leak in my sleeping pad, so sleep was more an intermittent dream state than a solid 8 hours. Half Cookie is bringing me a new sleeping pad today so hopefully that will solve at least one problem.

Fortunately, it was calm this morning when we got ready to pack up and head out, which always makes things easier. We were excited to go to the Paradise Valley Cafe, a notoriously hiker-friendly restaurant just a mile from the PCT, but it didn’t open until 8, so we took our time packing since we were already so close.

Good morning!

We crossed the 150 mile mark right away, which officially made this my longest-distance backpacking trip ever.


The next two miles went quickly as we daydreamed about eggs and breakfast burritos. We were so focused on getting there, we almost missed a turn at a dirt road that leads to the restaurant. Fortunately, a nice mother-daughter team that was section hiking with their sons/grandsons let us know about the short cut.

Thanks for the tip!

To maintain continuous footsteps, I dropped my pack at the intersection and jogged to and from the trailhead north of the 74. On the way I found some trail magic: ice-cream sandwiches still cold on ice! Were it not for the breakfast burrito in my head, I would have scarfed one!

So tempting

When I returned, we made short work of the final mile to the cafe.

Road to Paradise
Common hillside daisy

And then we were there! Goose and I grabbed a seat indoors, and Jess joined us shortly after.

That’s big
So good!

My wife was not able to pick us up to take us into Idyllwild until 3pm, so in the seven hours we had there we planned to 1) finish breakfast, 2) get resupply packages we had mailed to ourselves at the cafe, 3) hang out with the hikers outside, 4) eat a second amazing meal (lunch!), and 5) hang out with the hikers outside. It was heavenly.

Wonderful live music while we loitered
Jess organizes her resupply

While we were hanging out, Jess told us about her love for pickles. In fact, one time she ate a whole jar right BEFORE running a cross-country race. So when she said she wished she could bring pickles on trail, we had no choice but to suggest her trail name: Pickles!

I think she liked it, so it might stick. She was not going into Idyllwild until further up trail, so hopefully we will see her again to find out!

At just a smidgen past 3, Half Cookie showed up to give us a ride to town.

Thanks Half Cookie!

We dropped off Goose at his B&B and then headed to the Idyllwild Inn to our cabin. After catching up for an hour, we went out in search of food (again!). Maybe not surprisingly, we ended up at the brewery where I had a flight of Belgians and a hot dog.

Mural thanking firefighters for saving the town
Also heavenly

Today’s Hike-U

Sophie’s Choice
Breakfast burrito,
Only you could make me pass
An ice-cream sandwich

4 Comments Add yours

  1. ZoZoZoom says:

    150 and a flight – a very good day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. BarnFinder says:

    Q: How do you know when hiker hunger has kicked in? A: When you can eat a burrito the size of your forearm

    Liked by 1 person

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