CA PCT 2018

Warner Springs to Idyllwild

MARCH 30-afternoon

We  said good-by to Beth and her parents and headed North. For several miles we were actually hiking next to a small creek. It was the first one of any size that we had seen since we started in Campo. Feeling full and content from the lunch today, Donna was a bit complacent about foot placement. As she was walking down the trail, Don said"yo,didn't you see that snake that your foot just missed." Well, no actually I didn't! There right next to the trail was a small triangular shaped head. For a moment, as we looked at it, we thought it might be sick as it was not moving. Then it did its snake movement as it slithered into the grass. Glad that it had not connected to my foot!

 Lesson learned...always be aware of your surroundings.!

Lesson learned...always be aware of your surroundings.!

We filled up our water containers at the point where the trail left the stream. There is another long stretch of no water tomorrow. We pitch our tent just as the sun is setting and the moon rising. 

Miles hiked 9

MARCH 31

The bright moon kept waking us up at night. Finally at 4:30 we were ready to have breakfast in bed and start hiking.

 There was almost enough moonlight to hike without our headlamps.

There was almost enough moonlight to hike without our headlamps.

It was another day of hiking thru a variety of terrain.

 We had two water choices today. The first one was at a water tank owned by Mike. He brings in water and stores it in a large tank for the hikers. One can also visit his ranch further down a road. It was early in the day so we opted not to head down. We had enough water for the next 20 miles, but there was another source 10 miles away that we wanted to check out as well. On the way we were once again entertained by a curious lizard.   

We had two water choices today. The first one was at a water tank owned by Mike. He brings in water and stores it in a large tank for the hikers. One can also visit his ranch further down a road. It was early in the day so we opted not to head down. We had enough water for the next 20 miles, but there was another source 10 miles away that we wanted to check out as well. On the way we were once again entertained by a curious lizard.

 

 This lizard was doing push ups, which the scientist say is a way of showing that they are in prime physical condition. The more they do, the stronger they are!

This lizard was doing push ups, which the scientist say is a way of showing that they are in prime physical condition. The more they do, the stronger they are!

When we arrived to Thule Spring a couple was there from Britain. They gave us the info about the water. The faucet from the tank was off, but one could get water from the spring. In the midst of very red water was a small area of clear water that was flowing. The water report recommended to filter the water and then treat it with chemicals. Not only did we do that, we also boiled it before we had dinner. We decided to have dinner near the spring and then hike a bit further. On the way to our campsite we saw our first horned toad. Their way of protecting themselves is by blending into their surroundings.

 This toad did a great job of blending.

This toad did a great job of blending.

Another tree that we have been enjoying on the trail is the Manzanita. The photo is the description .

 Miles hiked today 23

Miles hiked today 23

APRIL 1

We were up at 4:30 as usual and had breakfast in our sleeping bags. Our plan was to hike to Paradise Cafe which we heard was closing at noon for Easter. We could make it, but we would be on the move. Paradise Cafe is known for its burgers and that seemed to be a good enough reason to get there. At mile 143 we came upon a cache that we were not expecting. We quickly dumped out the water from The Tule Spring and filled our bottles with the water in the cache. There were wet signs on the ground that other hikers had done this as well.

 A trail register let us check to see who was ahead of us. Most of the hikers that we have met are behind us. With fresh water we are ready to be on the move. Then came mile 145 where Trail Angel Mary has set up an area for hikers. There was a sign saying Happy Easter and inviting all hikers to stop. It was only 8 and we had plenty of time to make it to the Cafe.   

A trail register let us check to see who was ahead of us. Most of the hikers that we have met are behind us. With fresh water we are ready to be on the move. Then came mile 145 where Trail Angel Mary has set up an area for hikers. There was a sign saying Happy Easter and inviting all hikers to stop. It was only 8 and we had plenty of time to make it to the Cafe.

 

           

 

 

 

 

There were 3 cut outs of  Whitman, Muir and Thoreau.

 Under each one of them was a quote:

Under each one of them was a quote:

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Under one of the shade tarps was this menu:

 Our first thought that this must be a neighborhood dinner and thru hikers could join in. Then Renee arrived, she was here to help serve. She assured us that this was a meal for only thru hikers and encouraged us to stay.  Needless to say we did not need much encouragement. This is the third year that Mary has served an Easter dinner for the hikers. The only guidelines are that one can not help nor can any money be given. The rule of passing it forward applies.

Our first thought that this must be a neighborhood dinner and thru hikers could join in. Then Renee arrived, she was here to help serve. She assured us that this was a meal for only thru hikers and encouraged us to stay.  Needless to say we did not need much encouragement. This is the third year that Mary has served an Easter dinner for the hikers. The only guidelines are that one can not help nor can any money be given. The rule of passing it forward applies.

The tables were set with white tablecloths and placemats.

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At 11:30 large fruit platters were brought out and set on each table. Hikers continued to filter in with smiles on their faces. A couple miles down the trail Mary had posted signs about the upcoming feast and hikers had quickly hiked the trail to here.

At 12:45 glasses were handed out and champagne was poured. We all toasted the new Muir John and shower that Mary had built for the hikers.

 Mary leads the toast!

Mary leads the toast!

 And then comes the meal. Renee is our French server!

And then comes the meal. Renee is our French server!

 And Mary is the only Chef!

And Mary is the only Chef!

 Great conversations occur among people who live in many different countries.

Great conversations occur among people who live in many different countries.

 Then it is time to eat as Renee brings us our food!!!!

Then it is time to eat as Renee brings us our food!!!!

 WOW

WOW

 The salmon dish was just as big.

The salmon dish was just as big.

It was a great way to spend the day.

 Then came dessert!

Then came dessert!

 This is an Easter meal that we won't forget for a long time.

This is an Easter meal that we won't forget for a long time.

It was hard to leave, but we still had to do some hiking so 7 hours later we start down the trail. Wildflowers adorned both sides of the trail.

 When we got to the road, trail magic and water were there. There was no need to go to the Cafe in the morning to get water so we continued for another mile until we found a site. Looks like we will be doing some climbing tomorrow.

When we got to the road, trail magic and water were there. There was no need to go to the Cafe in the morning to get water so we continued for another mile until we found a site. Looks like we will be doing some climbing tomorrow.

 But now it is just time to set up the tent, enjoy the sunset and go to sleep.

But now it is just time to set up the tent, enjoy the sunset and go to sleep.

 Miles hiked 15

Miles hiked 15

APRIL 2

We are in the routine of getting up early and today was the usual, breakfast in bed followed by hiking with the headlamps until first light. We passed A to Z, a younger couple who have a reputation for flying up the trails. They were just making breakfast as we walked by.

 We spent a lot of time on ridges today, guess that is where this trail gets its name. We also spent a lot of time going up and down.

We spent a lot of time on ridges today, guess that is where this trail gets its name. We also spent a lot of time going up and down.

One sad reminder of the fires that periodically burn this area is the numerous grey and black trunks.

 In the distance, today we saw lots of smoke coming from a mountain top. We were relieved to hear that it was a controlled burn. Look closely to the photo below and you can see the smoke rising.

In the distance, today we saw lots of smoke coming from a mountain top. We were relieved to hear that it was a controlled burn. Look closely to the photo below and you can see the smoke rising.

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Due to fires in the past the trail to Idyllwild is closed, but in November a new section that had been closed was just opened. It was quite the climb. We followed Charley Horse who at one time lived near us in Alaska. This is his second thru hike on the PCT.  Then it was a very long down hill that didn't seem to want to end. When we finally got to the bottom, it was impressive to look back up to see where we had come. 

 We were standing on the top of this mountain several hours ago.

We were standing on the top of this mountain several hours ago.

When we got to the trailhead, our choices were to do an 8 mile road walk or try to hitch to Idyllwild. Just as we were deciding, here comes A to Z. Road walking if at all possible is nice to be avoided so with thumbs in the air, we were all able to get a ride in a pick up truck to Idyllwild. Soon we were headed to the hikers campsite at the local state park. We made a mental list of errands to do tomorrow and fell quickly a sleep.

Miles hiked 22