Warner Springs to Idlewild

Warner Springs Community Center
More hiking through the desert

Warner Springs is a small town at mile 109. The community center there welcomes thru-hiker every year with food and let’s them camp out on their lawn. From there it is about 70 miles to a small town called Idlewild. During this 70 mile stretch I was able to hike with two guys from Israel. Both men had just gotten out of their required service in the armed forces and were on their celebratory vacation. By talking to them I was able to learn a lot about what it is like to live in Israel and a lot about the struggles they face as a country. A very interesting aspect of the trail is the diversity of people.

Selfie with Mt San Jacinto

It is rare you feel like a minority in your own country but on the trail that seems to be the case. There are tons of people from Germany, Italy, Israel, Canada, and all over Europe. Talking to all the people has really given me insight into worlds I’ve never known about. After eating one of the best burgers of my life at Paradise Valley Cafe, I split up with them and headed back to the trail to hike the last 12 miles before the trail closes for a small section due to fire damage. Most people skip this 12 mile stretch in addition to the closer and hitch directly to Idlewild, but I figure I have the time so I chose to do it.

Sunrise at mile 165ish

After the trail closed I took a side trail that led me all the way to Idlewild. In this small town I found a hostel type place that gives you a bunk and shower for $25 so I figured I’d sleep in a bed for a change. Tomorrow I will climb the San Jacinto Mt. My biggest test thus far. -Noel Nelson

3 Replies to “Warner Springs to Idlewild”

  1. Hi, Noel! You don’t know me, but I’m a friend of your dad. I am in awe of your accomplishment thus far. I wish I had done a hike like you’re doing when I was your age — a couple of years ago, at age 63, my best bud and I attempted to walk across the country on the American Discovery Trail. We live on the east coast, but decided to start on the west coast. After flying to San Francisco, we set out on our journey. The first day we made 18 miles. That was not bad for two old guys! But on the second day, we lasted 16 miles. It was then that my back went into spasms! I was in a world of hurt. I was in so much agony, that we decided to end our attempt. We flew back to the East Coast. It was just as well, as the next day I broke out all over my body in poison oak! I had evidently picked it up somewhere on the trail. It took me about a week to recover from that! I would have been totally miserable if we had stayed the course. Anyway, good luck to you in your endeavor. I know that you are going to make it!

  2. Hi Noel. Praying daily for you. I am proud of you for doing something like this as I told you before but goodness I wouldn’t want Jason doing it. Be safe and enjoy. Keep us informed. Love you. Aunt Karen

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