Two Weeks In
Well here we are again, in hiker paradise. I write to you from Mike Hererra's at mile 127.3 which is amazing. We just said yesterday that we need to keep going, but maybe what we actually need is to slow down and enjoy it all. It’s our plan to get a ride from Ziggy and the Bear’s down to Kick Off, if we hike past there our chances of getting a ride is largely diminished. So to get there no later or earlier than Wednesday we need to average 13 miles per day, it’s 56 miles from here.
We came from Warner Springs which we arrived at two day ago. We arrived at the Warner Springs Community Center around 1 and had amazing an amazing lunch of cheeseburgers and cold soda. The community center is currently run by the wonderful locals who support and feed thru hikers while the local resort, which use to cater to hikers, is changing hands. We spent about an hour there going through our resupply box we got from the library and laughing at all the Easter stuff I packed in that box for Buddy that I am now going to have to carry. He picked out a bag of Easter eggs at home with hard candy that won’t melt in the sun so Dion can hike up ahead and hide them along the way for Buddy to find on Sunday.
Warner Springs Monty picked us up along with another girl, Sandy – a local trail angel who is hiking this year, and we went back to his house. He hosts hikers at his place every year, offers them a place to sleep, shower and tons of delicious food! Before we went to sleep he said, “If any of you want to use a car tomorrow and take the day off, another hiker named Imaginary friend left his car here if you want to go anywhere.” How perfect! We have been dying to get to REI and exchange our inflatable Nemo air pads for z lites. Buddy has a z lite and it is so perfect to just throw down midday and rest on. Blowing up the sleeping pads is my least favorite thing to do at night.
The next morning we had an amazing breakfast at Monty’s and headed off for San Diego to go to REI. On our way we dropped Sandy off at the community center to get back on the trail. When we pulled up we went inside to see who was there and what did I see in the hiker box? A small z lite someone was getting rid of. Score!
We spent the day driving around, going to the grocery store, unsuccessfully trying to find Moms restaurant in Jullian that we missed when we went through two days before, and hitting up the post office to mail out our bounce box and mail back things we brought that we don’t actually need. We returned to Monty’s that afternoon and camped at the Community center that night so that we could get an early start.
For the first time ever we woke up early and were on the trail before 8am. I’m trying really hard to get into waking up earlier and earlier, it’s just so hard to get out of the warm sleeping bag and out into the cold air. Although I just have to realize that it’s preferable to the midday heat! We hiked almost 8 miles and took the afternoon off in some shade around noon. Even in the shade, even behind the clouds with the wind blowing, it was hot. After about an hour we moved on two more miles to the next water source Lost Valley Spring at mile 119.5. There was amazing shade but the water source was not the flowing stream we were hoping to wet our hats and shirts in. Instead it was a rock spring that was not too thick once you got through the first few layers of funk. We filtered a few layers, played cards, Buddy practiced his harmonica and then we headed out around 4:30. It was our plan to hike an 18 mile day but around 6 I felt some blisters on my feet starting to hurt and when I took my shoes off I saw I had three blisters on my first three toes on one foot that had already formed and popped before I tented to them. So I wrapped each one and we decided to stop at the next campsite at mile 122.6.
It was the most perfect spot we’ve had so far. It was completely flat, no wind and just the right size. We set up camp, made dinner and were asleep by 8. We wanted to make it to Mike the trail angels house that night but it just didn’t happen. Buddy is doing great and has more than enough energy, he could have easily made it. I’m still getting my hiker legs, so unfortunately right now I’m the weak link.
We slept in, figuring their is no rush with our schedule to get to Ziggys, and hiked 4.5 miles to Mikes Trail Magic House. The hike here was beautiful, the rocks are pink and the cactus are all starting the bloom. The desert is absolutely beautiful this time of year. When we arrived we were greeted by Kushy and Tom who are caretakers and amazing trail angels here. They made burgers for lunch and lasagna for dinner, life is good. There are about 30 hikers here right now, another bubble has caught up to us. I feel like we are on the AT, there are so many people on the trial this year.
Over all this hike is going great, the PCT is amazing and Buddy is doing really well. There was tricycle at Mikes house so his week was made! With all the amazing experiences we are having as north bounders and traveling with the early heard I am so glad to be on the trail with my family having this incredible experience. I hike because there isn’t anything I’ve found that makes my family as happy as this. I hope that the smooth sailing continues as we head through our next 100 miles!