Hiking The Pacific Crest Trail: Day 10

Me and Dash are slightly below San Jacinto Peak

We took a half day off at Warner Springs to shower & do our laundry. The following day as we were heading back out to the trail I involuntarily said to Serge “I’ve missed the trail”. People say you develop some sense of attachment to being out there in the wilderness. Maybe that was the first sign of it.

Trail Angel “Tom” brings 50 gallons of fresh water every day to help hikers get through dry sections of the trail”

We have encountered several over 90°F days where we had to go up hill for most of the time. Water situation on PCT is no joke and should not be taken lightly. There are often times when we have to carry additional 6 liters of water (that’s 12 pounds) on top of the gear and food that we have in our packs. That water is to drink and for cooking meals. Amount of water you have with you dictates whether you will have a full cooked meal or some peanut butter crackers. In the desert there are 20-30 mile stretches where there is no water resupply and sometimes hikers have to carry 1-2 days worth of water. Water logistics are only difficult in the dry Southern part of California and Trail Angels do their best to help us out – for example delivering up to 50 gallons of water to a dried up creek on daily basis.

Trail Magic continues to follow us and only a few days back on the trail we ran into Mike Hererra’s place. Mike is a well off fella who invented the tortilla flour grinding machine. He has a private property that is located right on the trail. Mike doesn’t live there but lets his friends maintain the place and keep providing trail magic to hikers. They host hikers every day and make food all day long for anyone who is passing by. We have heard about Mike’s place from another hiker but really had no idea what to expect. We arrived there around 7pm hoping we could find a spot to camp in the backyard (trail angels often host hikers in their backyards). But we came to fresh hand made pizza baked in a brick fire oven by Josh. There was a bunch of hikers sitting around an unlit fire pit, chatting, drinking sodas & beer and eating fresh out of the oven pizza.

Josh, used to be a chef, immediately made us a pizza and we joined the company. We then gathered wood for a bone fire and continued getting to know our new hiker family. In the morning, Josh made us fresh coffee & pancakes which we ate with our hands, slowly warming up on the rising sun and listening to Frank Sinatra and Jack Johnson music.

Some hikers hike faster or slower than others. Often times we pass each other, or leap frog on the trail. But at the end of the day, we all come to same campsites and get to hear about each other’s days, inspect each other’s blisters and eat boring but delicious instant mashed potatoe dinners.

Butt-tape and Six on the back of a pick up truck heading toward Idylwild

Our next town is Idyllwild. It is a small touristy town where you can walk from one end to the next in 20 minutes. We arrived on Thursday – dollar tacos night, and immediately felt lucky. With an upcoming rain storm, we decided to take a day zero (a full day off) in town and run some errands like laundry, showers and resupplying groceries.