PCT Weeks 2-4 (Mile 454)
I have arrived at famous Hiker Heaven in the small town of Agua Dulce, CA. Hiker Heaven is a rest stop on the trail where trail angels The Saufley’s provide showers, shade, a place to tent and rides to rei/grocery store (pretty amazing people). Last year Hiker Heaven closed up and was supposedly gone for good but after a year hiatus decided to reopen and us hikers couldn’t be more happy, there were 50 plus people here last night. Heres a link to an article by backpacker magazine on Hiker Heaven:
It’s people like the Saufley’s that make the PCT such an amazing experience.
Now 4 weeks in on the PCT, I have reassimilated into the life of a thru hiker. Time between showers is usually 5 -7 days if I’m lucky, I lose track of the date and what day of the week it is, and my only concerns are where do I get water, how much farther until the next town and trying not to step on rattlesnakes.
Speaking of which, this is evidence of my first encounter… I was rounding a bend on the trail and looking off to where the trail was going until I heard this guy announce his presence. Since I was moving at a quick pace I had no time to stop so my first reaction was a pirouette like movement that had me tiptoeing on the edge of a steep dropoff. As my heart rate returned to normal, I had somehow avoided the snake and falling off a cliff…not a bad day, oh and I was wearing sandals during this encounter. I have since switched back to shoes!
Since I last posted an update the trail has passed through 3 closed areas either due to a burn area from a past fire or preserving an environment for an endangered species. Each closure required some additional walking, as the alternative routes are usually road walking to connect back with open trail. At the first closure the PCT wasn’t officially closed until 10 miles north of a road crossing. Most hikers opted to hitch from the road to Idyllwild instead of deal with these 10 miles, so I as walked this portion, the trail was eerily quiet. As the trail climbed from the road it passed through a vast boulderfield and dense forest in portions. Amongst the boulders near a stagnant pond is where I came across this:
Perhaps a mountain lion…. I was glad to get out of this area.
A water source found in an especially dry section of the trail, complete with bucket and rope.
Water cache along the trail.
Limber pine tree near the summit of Mt. Baden Powell (9400 ft).
Snow on the ascent of Mt. Baden Powell.
Passing through a burn area.
Trekking through a steep portion of the trail.
Thriving yucca plants.
Marker signifying the last section of the PCT to be completed in 1993.
Next up is a hundred mile stretch through the Mojave Desert to Tehachapi, CA. Following that is the start of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range!
(For some reason I can’t rotate these pictures correctly, so you’ll have to turn your phone or computer monitor)
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