Day 11: From The Real To The Surreal

Date: April 20, 2017
Miles: 109.5 – 127.3

“The desert surrounds your every step and you walk forever a thirsty man.” ~ Christopher Pike

We left Warner Springs in the morning and hiked alongside the Agua Caliente Creek for about six miles, passing through a private campground dotted with tall poles with hooks on them and a shed filled with the remnants of food packages that all looked like it belonged on a post-apocalypse PCT.  We were trying to guess what the hooks were for…food bags?  Lamps?  Bodies?

We passed through the area quickly and headed back into familiar desert landscape. The novelty of the desert has worn off a bit, and I find myself getting lost in thought while I hike, sometimes thinking about things I wish I could change about the past, or things I might do in the future, or just making up songs to the beat of the squeak in my backpack. Hey, not all of my thoughts have to be profound.

This is the view a lot of the time.

Around mile 120, we stopped to get water at Lost Valley Spring and met Crater, a horse breeder who, back in the day, helped ensure that the PCT would also be an equestrian trail. He’s not so sure about that decision now. He’s on foot this year, hiking through some difficult life changes. That’s a common theme out here.

After we filled up and ate lunch, we were off to Mike’s Place, the strangest and most hilarious stop I’ve come across so far.  The host was really hospitable, offering us wood-fired pizza, hot dogs, beverages and a place to stay for the night…he was also extremely well-equipped to celebrate 4/20. We hung out by a fire and I met Marissa, who works for Specialized bicycles and biked across the country a couple years ago. We talked for a long time and then I went off to the creepiest trailer I’ve seen outside of a Rob Zombie movie to fall asleep (sort of) to the sounds of Pink Floyd and the scurrying of small animals on the tin below.  In all seriousness, though, these trail angels are an oasis of generosity to us hikers, and I will always remember them fondly.

Don’t try to tell me that peanut butter and beef jerky isn’t a meal.
Thank goodness for filters.
Some desert…
…and more desert…
…and yet more desert.
The water cache at Mike’s Place.
Home sweet home!


2 Replies to “Day 11: From The Real To The Surreal”

  1. Can’t believe I’ve never thought to combine peanut butter and jerky. It sounds perfect for my active lifestyle.

    Keep it up. Courtney and I are keeping tabs on you. Remember- A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step……or some crap.

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