Take a Trek

Day 21: The coolest people

Big Bear Lake, Ca

Mile | 266 (0)

I booked my bed for two days, when I arrived yesterday, since there’s another big snowstorm coming through the area. Just like Idyllwild, the small town of Big Bear Lake is turning into a bottle neck for hikers choosing to wait out the weather. Kett and Baby Bear have arrived, along with AtHome and Gentle Giant. Grinder shows up halfway through the day, smiling like a madman and using his upside down trekking poles as improvised crutches. “I just need to ice this knee down a bit,” he says, limping away towards a dorm room adjacent to my own.

The hostel fills to its capacity, along with every other hotel, motel, and hostel in town. It seems like all of the social bubbles that have been crawling northward are here, mixed together into some sort of dirty, smelly, happy family. I’m laying in my bunkbed, thumbing through the Internet on my phone, when I overhear Sarge checking in a couple folks that aren’t hikers. He carefully explains the PCT, thru hikers, and the predicament of unseasonably snowy weather to them. “They look really funny and they smell terrible, but they are the COOLEST people you’ll ever meet.” True that, Sarge. True. That.