Miles Hiked: 11.3
Total Milage: 112.5
Campsite: Augua Calliente
This morning I didn’t open my eyes until 7am. It was nice to sleep in and not worry about hiking for once. I planned on taking a rest day today and I was so excited about it. Luke packed up his things and got ready to go stand at the bus stop outside of the store for an 8am pick up and ride back to San Diego. It’s nice that he can take public transit from the trail back to the airport and it’s right in front of the place we are staying! You can easily section hike the first 100 miles without a car if you plan to catch the once a week bus from Julian or Ranchita on time. When we walked outside the wind was blowing hard and chilly fog clouds were rolling through the valley. I was thankful not to be out on trail in the harsh conditions. I was sad to see Luke go when the bus finally came but I am looking forward to spending some time alone! Luke provided trail magic for the first 100 miles in the form of providing all my town meals at restaurants and our two stays in a bed it was very appreciated! Thanks Luke!
I spent as much time as I could just relaxing before I had to check out of the room at 10am. After that I went to the store to buy my food for the next section. I made a plan to hitchhike into Idylwild for my first Zero from mile 159 at Paradise Valley Cafe. When I went to the store I ran into Pippin and Chewy who I met at the brewery in Julian. I was excited to meet other hikers and hang out for a bit! I ended up leaving Ranchita in a shuttle back to the trail with them at noon and hanging out with them for the rest of the day.
Back on trail I hiked through some wide open fields with cows the entire 8 mile stretch to Warner Springs. It reminded me of the CDT. There were gorgeous trees and a flowing stream I crossed intermittently. The miles went by so fast. Halfway we took a break at Eagle Rock. An iconic photo destination on the trail. I wasn’t expecting it to be in the middle of a wide open field of rolling hills. I had to get my photo of course.
When we got to the road crossing to Warner Springs we didn’t even have to try hitching to the gas station when a trail angel named “Off Trail” picked us up immediately. It felt excessive to go to town for a second time just for a beer but it was my rest day and I had all the time in the world! Plus I was having fun hanging out with new people. We sat outside and enjoyed our drinks at some picnic tables. “Off Trail” hung out with us and even drove us a mile back to the trail when we needed! Chewy and Pippin bought him a beer and I gave him $5 for the ride!
I was a little buzzed as I hiked with Pippin the last three miles to camp at Augua Calliente Creek. We set up camp under the large beautiful trees I’ve been seeing all day and Pippin told me that she thinks they are Costal Live Oaks. For dinner I made some teriyaki rice that I didn’t like very much and passed out before I could even start to write my blog.