PCT Day 29: Casa De Luna

Miles Hiked: 19.7

PCT Mileage: 478.2

My shin still hurt when I woke up this morning. I was scared. I am mostly worried about making an injury worse before it gets better. It’s just so hard to tell. I packed up my tent, took time to stretch, and left camp before everyone else around 5:40am. The trail went uphill for a while this morning. There were clouds of fog rolling through the valley we slept in. My sleeping bag was a bit damp when I put it in my backpack. I used the “Seek” app to identify a new plant this morning. The prickly poppy. “Seek” is an app that helps identify plants by taking pictures of them. It also works offline which is the best part. I need to play around with it more in town when I have wifi to learn about the plants more. I zig zagged around the mountain as the PCT tends to do and the clouds slowly lifted. It was a really pretty morning. It reminded me a lot of the rolling sage brush hills of the beaver head mountains in Idaho on the CDT. Besides the prickly poppies, I also saw a lot of burnt bushes, and lupines that smelled like grape. The first water source of the day had bad reviews and when I looked at it, it was not appetizing and looked difficult to get. I decided to risk it and rely on an unpredictable water cache at the road. I lucked out and didn’t even have to filter my water. I took an hour break here and stretched some more. I couldn’t stop worrying. Eventually Fry, Pippin, and Dirty Mike all caught up to me. I spent the longest of all at the cache just taking care of myself. Since I am hiking lower mileage days I am trying to take lots of breaks and drag the day out as long as possible so I don’t get too bored at camp. Plus it’s fun to have time to hang out with other people at camp.

When I left my break spot it was pretty hot and the trail went uphill. I was looking forward to a call from my best friend from college, Teresa. Luckily I found a shady spot and cell service at our planned time to catch up. I was able to talk to her for over an hour before continuing to hike more. I was in such a grumpy mood today and having a ton of mood swings about my shin. It still hurt and I kept going back and forth between how bad it was or wasn’t. I took so many short breaks today just to stop and stretch out. I passed people back and forth as we all took turns taking breaks in small patches of shade. At one point I passed a bench commemorating Bob Kimmerly who came up with a 50 mile race in the area I was in. There was a sign showing all the winners from the past and I recognized Scott Jurek’s name who won the race multiple times. He is a famous Ultra marathoner who held the Appalachian Trail speed record for a while. Another one of my break spots I ducked into a tunnel of bushes and found a shady campsite where I met “52” and “Slim”. I also hung out with Fried Green here. It was 2pm and I only had to hike four more miles to reach my ending spot today. It was going to be a 19 mile day even though I am trying to cut my miles back. It’s still a lower mile day for me but it felt really long and I was hurting. It felt like I had to hike that far since there were no water options and I didn’t want to carry 8 pounds of water all day. Eventually I pushed on around 4pm and arrived at the Green Valley Fire Station around 5:30. I hung out at the roadside with a few other hikers before I walked over to set up camp and get water from a fire hose. While I was filling up my water, a lady named Terry pulled up quickly in a black SUV with other hikers in the back. It was Tom and Chef and they yelled at me to get in the car. I was confused because I already set up my tent for the night. The lady got out of her car and introduced herself as Terry. She gave me a hug and asked if I wanted to come to Casa De Luna. I had heard about Casa De Luna for so long. I couldn’t believe my luck. It is a legendary trail angel home who has been closed this year. I couldn’t believe I just got invited. Tom and Chef jumped out of the car to help me rip down my tent and throw all of my gear in the trunk in less than a minute. We were on our way though Green Valley to Casa De Luna. When we drove by the Gas station Terry yelled out the window to some hikers that she would be back to pick them up in a minute.

At Casa De Luna, Terry told us to go set up our tents in the Manzanita Forest in the back yard. And then to come to the driveway to hang out for dinner and charge our electronics. It was a magical forest. Dinner was served to about 15 of us hikers. It was taco salad night! I loaded my plate full of yummy taco veggies and beans. I was so happy. We all hung out together and had a few beers over dinner in the driveway. Terry was so funny and she seemed to have the time of her life getting to hang out with hikers. Her husband Joe came out to introduce himself and he put out a jar of weed he grew himself for everyone to share. I went to bed around 10pm which is very late for me. I was so thankful for today!

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

Published by Deserrae Potts

Thru Hiker Blogger

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