PCT Days 6–10

2018-05-04 | 8 min read

Trail Miles: 41.5 — 109.5

A lot happened in 5 days on the trail. In the moment time doesn’t seem to be going fast as you put one foot in front of the other and sweat drips down your arms and face, but in retrospect time flies. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been on the trail for 10 days — sometimes it seems like we’ve been on longer and sometimes it seems like we’ve only been on for a couple of days.

Monica got her trail name: “Love Song.” There was a fellow hiker, K2, who was quoting the poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot. Monica really liked the poem and talked with K2 about it for a little while. We parted ways with K2, but we caught up to him several other times and each time Monica would talk to him about the poem. Since she liked it so much he said her trail name should be “Love Song.” The name stuck and she’s now called “Love Song.” I think the name is fitting.

Day 6

Waking up in a real bed was nice and probably a help in pushing us through our longest day yet. We were up and ready to go by 6 AM from our motel in Mount Laguna. A cold front and wind had rolled in over the weekend so we started out in low 40s with decent wind. As we hit some of the ridges we could feel the 30 MPH wind hitting us. After 4 miles we met some fellow hikers we had camped with before our zero in Mount Laguna. We had thought that taking a zero would put us behind a lot of the people we had already met, so we were happy they were still on the trail near us.

As we hiked on the wind picked up and we started to wonder if we would be able to camp where we were planning on. When we got to the mile marker where the campsite was supposed to be we couldn’t find it, and the wind had to be at least 50+ MPH. We decided to press on until we found a suitable campsite — which might not be for 7 miles past the 13 we had already hiked.

After a couple more miles we took a quarter mile detour off the trail to fill up on water and then kept on going. Around 6 we started a steep descent down to a tentsite in a valley which is where we decided to spend the night. Checking my phone we had gone 23 miles and taken over 55,000 steps. Tired and sore we collapsed into our sleeping bag. While we were more sheltered from the wind in the valley, it was still windy and we didn’t sleep that well.

Day 7

Still tired we got up and decided on 13 miles to reach Scissors Crossing where we could head out to an RV Park with spaces for tents that were supposedly sheltered from the wind. As we set out, the wind was still blowing, but not nearly as hard as the day before. We climbed up out of our valley and then hiked around and down the mountain where we had a relatively flat trail to Scissors Crossing. Once we arrived at Scissors Crossing we set out on getting the first hitch of the trail and our lives. The road we were on didn’t have much traffic, but after 5 cars a nice man stopped and we crammed in with him and his two small dogs. He took us down to the Stagecoach RV Park where we got a campsite and chatted with a fellow hiker.

It was nice to relax and have flush toilets and showers after the last two long days. The camp site was not sheltered from the wind so we ended up paying a little bit more for a cabin. It was nice to not have the tent almost caving in from the wind after the night before, and we actually got good sleep.

Day 8

Waking up refreshed we caught a ride from a local guy who runs a hiker shuttle. He was chatty and talked about how he used to be a mechanic for a Porsche racing team. He dropped us off at Scissors Crossing and we headed out. There was no water for 14 miles so we hiked up and camped near a water cache. The water cache was amazing and fully stocked with well over 300 gallons of water by some kind trail angels. Fortunately it still wasn’t super hot out and we didn’t need much water so we could save it for those that might have run out.

We reached out campsite in the mid afternoon where we setup camp and talked with other hikers as they came through and hit up the water cache. As the evening drew closer we got into our tent around 7. Thankfully it wasn’t very windy at all and we were able to sleep through most of the night save for the sounds of a mountain lion and some coyotes.

Day 9

After several 10+ mile days we only had 10 miles to go for a spring and campsite. Around 11 AM we hit the 100 mile point. It was a big deal for us and felt great to have 100 miles behind us.

We made great time and rolled into our campsite around noon. There was a little sign that said “trail magic,” so we set down our packs and followed the trail to a road crossing where there was a former hiker, Hops, set up with her friend Tommy grilling hot dogs and hamburgers for hikers. While it was hard to choose between the trail mix we had planned on for lunch and burgers, we ended up choosing burgers.

Since we were done for the day we spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with the trail angels and chatting with fellow hikers. One of the things I love about this trail is the different people you meet. Old and young. Foreigners and US citizens. Everyone has a different reason for doing the trail. Some people have never hiked before. Some people have done multiple thru-hikes before. We all have a common goal of walking from Mexico to Canada.

Day 10

Refreshed from a wind free night of sleep as well as burgers and hot dogs we set out on a short day of 8.5 miles to the community of Warner Springs. We stopped to chat real quick with a couple from Australia who were trail named Fish and Chips — they’re ultra-runners and a great couple. Continuing on we hit a side stop of Eagle Rock where we took a short break. Most of the day was hiking through some meadows which meant that we were fully exposed to the sun.

Once we reached some trees we had only a mile to go and the cool breezy shade helped us on our way. Reaching Warner Springs we picked up our two resupply boxes as well as a new pair of shoes from REI for Monica. Her current pair are running shoes she’s had for a while and the tread and arch support are shot. REI was really nice and helpful with the whole process of getting the shoes to us on the trail and we’ll definitely be using them for any more gear we need on the trail.

The Warner Springs Community Center is setup for PCT hikers to resupply and refresh. We were able to get bucket showers as well as do our laundry in a bucket. It feels great to be clean and out of the sun and wind in the community center as I type this out. We’re relaxing here tonight and we’ll sleep in tomorrow before heading out on a short 5 miles. We’re looking forward to another week on the trail before we reach Idyllwild. We’ll also stop in at the Paradise Valley Cafe which some people say has the best burger on the whole PCT. Once we reach Idyllwild I’ll have another update.