The first 100 miles are under our belt. Only 2550-ish to go. :)
I don’t want to jinx anything, but the last couple days have been easier. We’re both feeling stronger and better overall. Our packs are beginning to feel more comfortable and we’re starting to get our “hiking legs.” It took us the first 3 days to make it 47.5 miles and we’ve covered 61.5 in the 2.5 days since. Minus a few ailments each (couple of blisters for both of us, some tenderness in ankles, knees, shoulders/backs, and a mysterious bruise the size of Texas on my leg), we’re doing well.
Leaving Mt. Laguna
We left Mt. Laguna Wednesday afternoon and hiked a few miles to an RV campground where the very lovely people at Ed Bahr’s Shriners Camp let us stay for free in exchange for a promise to help someone in need out whenever we get the chance. We enjoyed a free shower, a working toilet, and a cozy porch where we set up to stay out of the wind. We didn’t set up a tent that night, just put our sleeping mats and bags right on the porch and mummied up in our sleeping bags. It was COLD up there, which was a welcome change from the heat we’d been hiking through. Beautiful landscape, too. Tons of pines and very quiet.
Windy but so beautiful
Beautiful sunrise at Ed Bahr’s
The next morning we set out aiming to hit about 20 miles and ended up doing a few more than that. A few hours in to the day we ran into an older gentleman who had started hiking the day after us and already caught up. He puts us to shame – he is a machine! We’ve leapfrogged back and forth with him a few times since then, but think we bid him adieu for the final time this morning when we pulled into the Hiker Center in Warner Springs and he was just leaving to hike on. We probably won’t catch him again. The three people we met that started the same day as us all took additional rest days at previous campsites and we haven’t seen any sign of them since.
Early morning hiking away from Laguna Mountain Recreation Area
This is the way we dry our socks when it’s windy and we’re stopped for lunch
Yesterday was another long hiking day (24 miles, our longest yet), but we called it a day at about 6:30 or so and enjoyed a leisurely set-up of camp, a nice baby wipe bath (ha! With the assistance of Edwin’s mom before we left, we lovingly packaged 3 wipes per day each and included them in our resupply packages. Let me tell you that baby wipes do NOT stand up to PCT hiker dirt. We’re still happy to have them because it’s better than not, but we are certainly bringing filthy to new levels), and an early bedtime.
We woke up this morning with 14 miles left to get to Warner Springs and we had heard rumors that there was a volunteer center here complete with showers, laundry, and food. That was all the motivation we needed to make it here within about 5 1/2 hours. We were practically stampeding.
Tired and filthy but loving it
We hadn’t met as many people as I thought we would until we got to the center here, where several other groups are laying up doing laundry, showering, and resting tired feet. Several are staying nearby tonight, but we’re hiking on and making a push to reach Big Bear by next Saturday morning to see family and stay in a bed for a couple nights. Headed out to make a few miles towards the next section (to Idyllwild), so we’ll update soon!
Can’t beat that view