Day 5 – April 29th
Start: Camp, mile 93.2
End: Agua Caliente Creek, mile 115.0
Miles hiked: 21.8
Woke up to a beautiful sunrise over the rocky San Felipe Hills. The three of us quickly got packed up and on the trail. I felt pretty awful in the morning, and I attribute it to hiking in the heat and bare rocks the day prior. Nevertheless I kept pace with McButter and Brainstorm one painful step at a time. Conversation revolved around theology, art, and the state of humanity. Pretty engaging conversation. In the morning we hit mile marker 100, marked by rocks in the trail. McButter had never hiked a trail more than a hundred miles and was very proud to make it this far. Cool to share that excitement with him.
Just a mile further was our first water source. Strangely enough, we were greeted by large cameras and reporters who worked for the Union Tribune of San Diego. It was fun talking to them as they seemed shocked at what we were doing. After filling up, the scenery changed from brushy foothills to rolling prairies. The wind produced waves in the tall grass which I found very satisfying to observe. We took a break at Eagle Rock and made it to our first resupply at Warner Springs around 1:30.
We got our mail drops and headed to the hiker resource center where they had food, computers, and many hiker items. There were many hikers there and it was fun to mingle. We waited out the heat, and then headed out for six more miles of hiking. We passed some amazingly large trees that really caught my attention. Once at camp next to Agua Caliente Creek, Carrot and I did some yoga (shout out to Christina Hamati) and we all ate and laughed until sundown. This is surely my favorite campsite yet. Next to a creek and teeming with life! As I washed my feet in the creek a beautiful hummingbird flew right next to me not more than three feet, hovered there, and took several drinks of water while looking at me suspended. It was so peaceful and calm next to me. It made me feel very fortunate to be out here and to be having this connection. It just feels so natural and easy, much the opposite of the way life is lived in our corrupt state of society.
Day 6 – April 30th
Start: Agua Caliente Creek, mile 115.0
End: The Guzzler, mile 140.2
Miles hiked: 25.2
Nice early morning heading off with Brainstorm. The feet are only getting worse, with more blisters and what feels like bruised footpads. Very windy morning, with a stop at Post-Apocalyptic Mike’s. This trail angel has a house close to the trail in the middle of nowhere. We sat and joked with McButter and Carrot before taking off for more dry, hot, miserable desert. We discussed the merits of a five pound giant cinnamon gummy bear, and the hilarious reviews on Amazon that Carrot saw for it. It was a long hot climb. In her dehydrated, overheated delusion, Carrot began narrating her thoughts…
“Imagine if we were at a nice, dark movie theater. A cold drink with ice, and a bucket of popcorn.”
“And a nice beautiful brunette next to you,” I added.
“Then you get a handful of popcorn, turn to the brunette, and realize it’s a fifty pound cinnamon gummy bear.”
“Then the screen starts melting, and your bucket of popcorn is really a bucket of hot sand, and the floor turns to lava,” added Carrot.
“And the gummy bear turns to you and says ‘Welcome to Hell!’”
We were dehydrated and had five more miles in the beating sun before we reached the guzzler. Which is really a water collector. McButter wants his trail name to be Molly Guzzler McButter. After limping our way to the guzzler we slept right on the concrete. Another day!
Day 7 – May 1st
Start: Guzzler, mile 140.2
End: Paradise Café/Idyllwild, mile 153-178
Miles hiked: about 13
My morning started with sand in my eyes and mouth. Luckily it was an easy 13 miles to Paradise Café. This is at mile 153. From here we hitched 17 miles into Idyllwild. The PCT is closed from mile 153 to 178 due to a fire that desecrated the area. So everyone this year has to skip it. Bummer. Once in Idyllwild we met Sheriff Woody and Not a Chance. The five of us a got a room and all headed to eat pizza. I ate a whole 12” pie, which is out of character for me. Plus a delicious 805 beer by Firestone Walker Brewing. We met Tangent and Holstein, who gave us a tour of their “Wilder” property. They both hiked the PCT multiple times, along with many other trails. They make the Apps “Guthook Hikes” for the PCT, AT, CT, and TRT. They invited us back to their place for a taco dinner. It was excellent, and we spent many hours there. Such great, interesting people. I purchased the App to Southern Cal as I heard its great from many! Not a Chance, Sheriff Woody, and I walked back to the hotel where lively conversation was had before bed. I also bought a new pair of Cascadia shoes. My feet expanded like balloons once in town. They looked so fat! I was bursting through my size 10 and Not a Chance, who has hiked the PCT three times (this is her 4th) told me I surely needed new, bigger shoes. So I bumped up from size 10 to 11. Hopefully it helps my feet. The five of us are heading out in the morning back to the trail, with much lighter packs from sending unneeded items home.