April 23, 2017
Total miles: 16.7 miles
Start: mile 92.7
End: Warner Springs Resource Center (mile 109.5)
Total elevation gain/loss: 1778.2/2687ft
What a day! We packed so much in that it really feels like two separate days.
It was calm last night until about 1:30, then the wind picked up. Our tent held up pretty well, but it’s hard to ignore the sound of it flapping around. At around 3:30am, Michael realized that one of the stakes had been pulled out of the ground due to the wind. He fixed it (without getting out of the tent), but I figured that I was unlikely to get back to sleep.
After yesterday’s heat we’d discussed waking up early to take advantage of the cooler mornings. Starting our hike at 4:30am wasn’t quite what we had in mind, but that’s what fate arranged.
We walked slowly in the dark morning hours. The trail was along a steep slope and there were lots of prickly plants to watch out for (including cactus). At one point, Michael asked what the orange light up ahead was — a light in a tent? It took a few minutes to realize that it was actually a sliver of the moon along the horizon.
The sunrise was gorgeous and we finally started to hit our stride as we came upon the trail’s 100 mile mark…
We stopped for water at Barrel Spring, where I gave myself a foot soak using a gallon-sized ziplock bag — much to the amusement of other hikers. I don’t care what they think. My feet had been killing me all morning, but after our stop they felt great!
We zoomed through field of gold and red grasses, past a large group of Boy Scouts. While we may have missed making “10 by 10” a couple days ago, today we had walked 12.4 miles by the time 10am rolled around! It’s amazing what an early start can do.
A couple mikes later and we reached Eagle Rock. Michael had no idea what to expect, but I was surprised to find that it is a popular day hike destination.
The Resource Center here is amazing! They have a whole setup for hikers here — bucket showers and laundry, foot baths, a small resupply store (with cold drinks and ice cream), a huge hiker box, excellent wifi, bathrooms, and a large area to camp. I honestly couldn’t have asked for more.
After eating an ice cream (priorities), we both cleaned up and enjoyed an afternoon of no hiking. It was sort of like having a “nero” (hiking near zero miles in a day), but we’d hiked almost 17 miles! The wifi was also a godsend, because we’ve had no data coverage yet on trail (I love Ting in real life, but maybe not the best for the trail).
The day was capped off with a BBQ hosted by the Resource Center and manned by the owner of the new gas station in town. He was nice enough to even open up the Resource Center’s little store for us in the evening so that we could buy some last-minimize items (even though we offered to stop by his store in the morning). So nice!
We stayed up late (almost 9pm!) chatting with another couple from SF (Travis and Kelsey). Then it was off to bed. For the first time on trail, I even had enough energy to read for a bit before nodding off to sleep!
Elizabeth: 7 old blisters (no new ones!!), sore ankle
Michael: 1 old blister; misc. muscle tightness