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!
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
The bright moon kept waking us up at night. Finally at 4:30 we were ready to have breakfast in bed and start hiking.
It was another day of hiking thru a variety of terrain.
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.
Another tree that we have been enjoying on the trail is the Manzanita. The photo is the description .
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.
There were 3 cut outs of Whitman, Muir and Thoreau.
Under one of the shade tarps was this menu:
The tables were set with white tablecloths and placemats.
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.
It was a great way to spend the day.
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.
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.
One sad reminder of the fires that periodically burn this area is the numerous grey and black trunks.
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.
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