Day 21: The Hotspot that Decided to Stay

April 11, 2018


I rose a little late the next morning and spent the first several hours of hiking feeling very stiff. It put me in a rather foul mood because I felt like I was working extra hard trying to keep up with my two hiking friends who were in much better physical shape. 

Me pretending to be shocked by a random, filthy couch in the middle of the woods/desert

We took take lots of breaks that day, though, which helped. We even passed by a big dumpster next to a sketchy looking couch (we did NOT sit on it) and we were able to unload some of our trash. A couple of weekend warrior hikers offered us a beer at one stop later in the day. It meant we had to take a little .1 side trail that was rather steep down to a trailhead with a parking lot, but they were so kind to offer, we couldn’t say no, even though we still had five miles to go and we knew hiking with beer in our bellies may not have been the best idea. But hey, it was free! They also had some super delish jalapeno crunchy Cheetos! I’m not usually a fan of junk food, but I thought maybe the carbs would give me a little energy boost and help absorb some of the beer.

Mission Creek from above

Right after that stop, I started to develop a hot spot right at the base of my right arch, near the ball of my foot. It felt like I had grit in my sock that was chafing, but when I pulled off my shoe and sock I could see a blister beginning to form. And it HURT. Even Ghosthiker looked concerned when she saw it. We were pretty close to our intended campsite so I put my sock and shoe back on and hiked on, deciding to wait until camp to deal with this new issue. Probably not my smartest move, but there wasn’t actually a blister yet so I wasn’t sure what I could do anyway besides cover it with Leukotape (which is exactly what I should have done right then and there).

There was no comfortable way to walk the remaining 2.4 miles to camp without causing other parts of my foot to ache. It was pretty painful by the time I got to Arrastre Trail Camp at mile 252.6, set up my tent, had dinner, and finally got around to cleaning my feet and applying Leukotape. Hopefully, that would help me hike the 10.5 miles we have to do before we can hitch into Big Bear Lake.

I really liked hiking with Ghosthiker and Sparky. People kept asking us if we were an actual family because we looked like a mom, dad, and daughter trio. Longstride was actually the first person to ask this when we met him back at the Whitewater Preserve, and we’d found it incredibly amusing. Apparently, we hiked well together, and it showed. I was very happy with that. 

PS: I need to stop and apologize here for the mixture of past- and present-tense in my writing. It’s just the result of me trying to clean up and flesh out my trail journal and I’m trying to make the tense agree as I go, but I’m probably failing miserably at it. *shrug*

Day 22: Hitching into Big Bear Lake

Published by rogerssj23

I'm a long-distance hiker, an audiobook producer, and an amateur writer. I live in the woods in a renovated 1972 Airstream with my Golden Retriever Zoe. Read more about my hiking adventures at

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