Day 6: 100 miles!!

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.

I love the early morning light!

The sunrise was gorgeous and we finally started to hit our stride as we came upon the trail’s 100 mile mark…

And it’s second 100 mile marker…

I guess there was a disagreement as to where the 100 mile mark is…

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 hit a lush, green zone on our way to Barrel Springs. Where was this shade yesterday?

Barrel Springs

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.

The best signed section of the PCT so far.

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.

After another mile through the (unnecessarily well-marked) fields, we suddenly found ourselves walking next to a glowing creek and almost oak trees. Three very distinct ecosystems in one day!

We rolled into Warner Springs by noon. The Post Office is closed until 8am tomorrow, so we have all day to do chores and relax.

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.

How do I look? I didn’t want to give this dress back, it was so comfy.

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).

Couple’s epsom salt foot baths. So romantic.

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!

Gear trailer parked outside the Center stocked with ultralight gear.

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!

Field of tents in back of the Resource Center.

Current ailments:

Elizabeth: 7 old blisters (no new ones!!), sore ankle

Michael: 1 old blister; misc. muscle tightness

3 thoughts on “Day 6: 100 miles!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s