Mile 80 - 110 | Bucket showers!
The camp spot we chose was perfectly tucked into a nook of the ridge we were trekking along, you just had to be wary of the cacti that was scattered around. I slept with my tent doors open and star gazed as I slipped into a deep happy to be on trail again sleep.
It has been fun watching the flowers change with the scenery, it can range from teeny tiny flowers, to big century trees, brush to cacti! The little stubby cactus plants were my favourite! So many large succulents too, reminds me of all the cute ones that are so popular back home.
We set off in the morning with a big day in our sights, 20 miles and pass the 100 mile mark!
It was one of the most beautiful days we’d had, more ridge walking with happy town memories on our mind! We snaked round and round, our bags heavy with all the water we were carrying over the long waterless stretch. We passed the time by playing the song lyric game - one person says a word and the first person to sing a song lyric with it in wins. It was quite difficult as we were hiking in a line and us down the back couldn’t hear the words properly and kept singing the wrong lyrics. It also ended up being whoever sang the loudest won which earned us the name the Giggle Gang as we were so loud!
We came across the Cave at mile 96.1 which was very hyped in the Guthook comments, we all crawled in for a fun photo before pushing on - there was a mile 100 mark to get to!!
To pass time Mile and Matt and I played a game called Sigourney Weaver, the name game. The game starts with Sigourney Weaver and the next in line has to say a name starting with the first letter from the second name, so William Shakespeare for example. If you say a double barrelled name it skips a player and a name with the same two letters reverses the order! This kept us so occupied we almost tripped over the mile 100 mark!
It felt SO good to finally hit this marker! It may only be a drop in the ocean of the 2650 miles we hope to hike but it is little achievements like this that will keep us going the distance. This is also the furthest I have ever hiked continuously, I felt emotional and exhausted and so very happy. The combination of the zero, the fun group hiking and being 1 Mile our from our campsite put me on a high, so happy to be out here. I definitely made the right descision!!
We pushed on the final 1.2 miles to the car park. We could hear a raucous ahead of us and from a tent we heard the beautiful words ‘trail magic ahead, keep going guys!’. We rounded the corner and over the gate and there were all the familiar faces of friends we’d made in Julian and some we hadn’t seen in a while! Twerk and his friends from the previous years hike had driven out with drinks and food for us all, what a treat! I was so happy and tired I almost cried (okay I did have a little teary moment).
Twerk rallied the troups for another photo session! We were smelly and happy, sharing stories of the past few days and updating each other on fellow hikers we’d seen and trying to work out who is ahead and who is behind!
I was a bit delirious by the time I left to set up my tent but I slept hard and happy as soon as I rolled into my sleeping bag!
Our tents were full of condensation but we had time to lay our quilts and soggy items in the sun before heading out because we were only hiking a short 8.5 miles to Warner Springs!
The walk to Eagle Rock and Warner Springs was like nothing we’d ever seen before, we walked through meadows! Apparently Southen California is going through a super bloom due to the rain they had earlier in the year!
Claire and I had to stop ourselves from taking photos of every different type of flower, it was just so beautiful to be out in the open with mountains in the distance! We kept trying to guess which ones we’ll be up and over next. We met Stingray and his Daughter who were our day hiking, they gave us mandarins that we were so thankful to receive. We were walking through the flat meadows wondering to ourselves where on earth Eagle Rock is going to suddenly appear from!
It felt good to finally tick off one of the many landmarks of the PCT, a step closer to Canada!
I sat and ate my mandarin by the rock formation as we chatted to day hikers and other PCT hikers. It was a short gorgeous walk through more meadows to the Warner Springs community centre. For a small donation you can camp in the garden of the community centre and charge your electrical items. There’s a small shop inside you can resupply in, they’ll give you a postcard and post it international for $4, shuttle you to the post office and back, $3 foot soaks, $1 laundry detergent for a bucket wash and a bucket shower! They even have a collection of loaner clothes for you to wear while you wash yours. The staff that work there were so kind and friendly too!
All freshly laundered!
We played with the idea of taking a zero here as you’d literally not be able to walk anywhere! It was so friendly and welcoming. Dinner that night was at the Golf course Grill, we saw no one on the course and very few locals in the Grill itself! I had a veggie pizza and it was glorious, can I have a pizza every town we get to? An older hiker called Bill joined us for dinner and told us all sorts of stories about his family and his previous through-hike attempt. We talked and ate and enjoyed the evening together, each new day is my favourite! I’m on such a high, and I’m going to enjoy it while I can because I know there are going to be some tough days ahead!