11.8 miles – Warner Springs to Random Camp in dry creek bed on side of trail @ PCT mile 120.8
With the prospect of a shower and laundry in my immediate future, I’m up nice and early to make it to the warner springs community centre in time for opening. It’s my fastest pack up to date and the quick jaunt into town takes only a few minutes.
There’s no one at the centre when I get there, so I grab a seat outside and spread out my tent to dry the condensation and chat to a bunny that lives under the centre.
More hikers hobble in but still no one arrives. Looks like the centre isn’t concerned with the last dregs of the hiker season and won’t be opening 🙁
This also means no ride to the post office so I road walk the 2 miles return trip to collect my first resupply! Even though I only packed it a week ago it still feels like Christmas. So much foooood! I was clearly jet lagged nd suffering from the woozy head of my mini sinus infection I collected on the plane ride over, because I have packed enough food for about 3 people! I give a few bits away, and decide I can’t part with any more because it all looks yummy. This means I’ll be carting around a fair few days worth of food- so heavy 🙁
Finally someone comes to open the centre. I take advantage of the computers to order a new pair of shoes to meet me at mile 500, and completely forget all the other things I was supposed to do on the computer. There are 3 giant hiker boxes full of food and discarded bits of gear. Hiker boxes are where hikers put things they no longer want or need and other hikers are welcome to take anything. I help myself to some new hand sanitiser, and contribute 3 panels that I cut off my thermarest (as it’s a smidge too long for me) that someone can use as a sit pad.
I do some dodgy hand washing of some laundry in the sink of the bathroom, fill up 4L of water and then hang out in the centre for another hour or so until the worst heat of the day has paased.
Finally I’m on my way. It’s a hot one and the trail alternates between open dry meadow and little pockets of green forest. My pack is stupid heavy with ally new food and water. There is a little creek the trail crosses a few times so I stop and soak my feet for a few minutes for a little reprieve.
The trail winds up and up and up, and I decide to try and night hike to get a few more miles in.
Around 630pm I stop for dinner on the trail, then continue on while watching the sunset over the mountains. The intention is for 4 more miles, however as soon as the sun disappears from the horizon a thick fog starts rolling in. Crap. I’m not keen on walking thin rocky ridges in the dark with the added impediment of fog, so the next site I find at mile 12 for the day turns into home for the night. A bit of a poor effort for the day in total, but I’m shattered nonetheless and it takes about .25 seconds to fall asleep.