I was still extremely tired in the morning and all I wanted to do was sleep. But I was hiking in the desert and needed to get up early and get some miles in before it got too hot. So, I got up at 5:25. Three owls were singing to one another in a cycle. One would call out, a second would respond, and then a third. And then they would start again. It was cute. I ate two chocolate poptarts and broke down my tent, trying to be as quiet as possible (really an impossible task when shifting everything around and stuffing it back into a pack) since Muk Muk didn’t appear to be awake yet. I figured she would catch up to me later on. I was on the trail at 6:34 and it was cool enough that I wore both my wind and rain jacket. (It was 47 degrees when I woke up). After a few miles, I came across two very friendly guys still in their campsite. One seemed to be standing up in his sleeping bag, changing his pants. They told me that they had gotten dropped off at Warner Springs from kick-off around 4, sorted through their resupply, and then slept in. They said they would see me later and said “bye!” in unison in a singsongy voice. How sweet!
Up ahead, above the second creek, I came across more campers who were not as friendly. Then, I saw a guy meditating on rock by a river.
I continued on and after I crossed a river just after 8am, I decided it was time for a snack. I found a nice big rock to sit on that was out of the way. The guy who had been meditating approached the river with his journal and looked around. I told him that I was leaving and that he could take my rock. He was envious of me doing the whole trail and said he wished he had more time out here.
My pack was so heavy that I needed to take it off every 20 minutes! Every time I found a nice spot, however, it seemed like I had just taken a break…
And when I really needed a break, I couldn’t find a good place!
I was eating a lot during my breaks! On one them, I actually lied down for a couple of minutes which felt really good. Later on, I got a bloody nose and was forced to lie down until it was under control.Later in the day, I found some rocks to the side of the trail and went to sit down for a minute. I couldn’t believe how much cooler the air was within the rocks! I ended up unrolling my sleeping pad, curling up my knees, and napping for about 20 minutes. The wind started picking up and the air was getting even cooler, so I packed up and hit the trail around 2. I felt better after that bit of rest. At around 2:40, I came to trail magic sign! Already? A girl came down the path and told me she had just spent 2 and a half hours there. She said that Mike had just put hot dogs on the grill and that there were a lot of people there. I was excited!
Mike’s house was down a road off the trail. He had a huge water tank that he let hikers drink out of and if he was home, we could rest under the shade of his porch. Logan, who started the trail the same day as me, greeted me and said that it had been awhile. I didn’t know anyone else there. I got some water and ate a hot dog with potatoes on a tortilla. They even had pink lemonade! Then, I had my first foot bath on the trail! I left some extra food that I was carrying in the hiker box and was going to head out when Mike said
said he was going to have smoked chicken in 2 hours…
Hmmm… Dehydrated pasta or chicken? I decided that I could make use of the extra time by journaling a bit. I could journal a bit. Finally, the chicken became available. People were eating it with bare hands and no plate! I didn’t find that so appealing and managed to at least find a plate. I finally left at 6:30. Greg and some others had come in and had decided to camp on the property. I climbed up to a ridge where a man had set up camp and looked around for a spot for myself. Then, I saw Andrea Jane sitting up in her bug net, wondering what to do. Logan was set up a bit away. I found a spot in the middle and went about setting up my tent in the strong wind! It was not an easy feat! I staked it as best as I could. Then, the Swedish boys arrived (they were the friendly ones I had met earlier in the morning!).
They set up close to Logan. I heard them saying they were from western Sweden- on the coast. I went over and told them I had relatives in Falkenberg and they said they lived a half hour from there and that Robin’s mother was from there!
I returned to my tent to finish setting up my things. Then, Robin made rounds to see who wanted coffee. “Decaf?” How sweet!
I took my jetboil over to their area and Rasmus started boiling water. They even had powdered milk and sugar. I told them they were the nicest thruhikers on the trail and Robin said, “You have to spread the happiness!”. They told crazy stories about their first few days on the PCT, carrying 75 pound packs with gallons of water and a laptop! They only made it 6 miles on the first day because Rasmus drank so much water that he depleted all of the minerals in his body and passed out! Then, they ended up running out of water before they reached Lake Morena. They were also wearing calf-high boots, as that is what they needed in cold and wet Sweden! They had no idea about Yogi’s guidebooks and didn’t know what to bring. And they also expected to be the only people on the trail! At 8:36, one of them said, “Well guys, we need to go to bed. We have to get up very early tomorrow!” And so, that was that.
I felt happy after the coffee and company. I ate a peppermint patty in my tent and then hunkered down in my sleeping bag.
Even though the pole remained upright and the stakes in the ground, the wind flapped the sides of my tent all night long and I couldn’t sleep at all! I hoped it wasn’t keeping everyone else awake, either!