Leaving the hot springs in the morning we hiked in the hot sun for quite some time, getting closer and closer to where I grew up. I had plans to get off the trail for a few days once I reached the Cajon Pass, which was looking like it would be in perfect time for Mother’s Day. About five miles prior reaching the lake I felt a sharp and sudden pain in my left leg, which was my IT band reaching a new level of discomfort, and I was forced to stop and rest for about thirty minutes. More so than ever I feared that an injury could potentially put me off trail, the thought of such a terrible ending to such an amazing experience made me sick. So I started back slow, and after an hour of hiking my leg seemed to be better than usual.
I remembered a story my father had told me about a high school friend who was riding a bicycle down from Mt. Baldy when a deer shot out in front of him. He crashed into the deer cruising at over fifty miles an hour rendering him paralyzed, and after a few days in the hospital his parents were told he’d more than likely never walk again. Suddenly, in front of his mother and a nurse, the worst pain came across his entire body and he began to scream out bloody murder. His mother screamed for attention but the nurse assured her that this was the best thing ever, that the unforeseen pain was feeling returning throughout his body. I really hoped that somehow this sudden agonizing pain was my IT band becoming stronger.
The PCT hugs the northern border of the sizable lake, and what a sight that was! After the five or so miles around the lake there is a campground where a local pizza place will deliver not only food, but beer as well. We ordered the overpriced pizza and outrageously priced beer and had ourselves a good ol’ night.