Yoga Retreat and 100 Miles Down!

Brutal Hike out of Julian

We set out from Stagecoach around 7:30 a.m. Stagecoach was four miles away from the trailhead along a paved road. We tried to hitchhike to the trail, but every car passed us by. It was brutal and exposed, and we almost got hit by a truck. We got to the underpass and trailhead around 9:00 a.m. and took a break from the hot sun. We had a long day ahead of us! There was a water cache at the underpass that was maintained by a local trail angel. The next water on the trailhead was 14 miles ahead and 1,500 feet uphill. We filled up our water to max capacity and began our hike. The trail started with an uphill in the intense sun. We climbed about 1,000 feet before it leveled off a bit. We climbed on, exhausted, and took a long break at the first pipe gate. We were zombies, barely talking. We invented a song about pipe gates that still sing whenever we pass a pipe gate. Pipe gate, na na na na, it’s a pipe gate…

Exhausted and resting at the pipe gate

We made it to the water cache around 6:00 p.m., and Mary and Joey were there! We hadn’t seen them since Mount Laguna and we were excited to see them. I set up our tent and sleep stuff while Nick fetched water. Nick came back and made dinner and Joey hung out with us. We went to bed and slept hard for ten hours.

100 miles completed!

The next day we passed the 100-mile mark! We decided that we would pamper ourselves after reaching the 100-mile mark by staying at the Mountain Valley Retreat Center.

First 100 miles down!

We texted Chery (trail name Mountain Mama) to arrange our stay at the retreat. She asked us if we had any dietary restrictions, and we told her that we were vegan. The stay came with dinner and breakfast included. She told us that Lynn would be picking us from a spot just past the 100-mile mark.

We got to the meeting point around 2:00 p.m. When we arrived, Mary and Joey were already there and setting up camp. Mary teased us a little bit for being bougie but wished us well.

Pampered at the Yoga Retreat Center

Lynn picked us up and gave us a ride to the local store to resupply. She let us know that the retreat was actually closed for the season, but that they opened up to let us stay anyway! The store was unexpectedly closed and she offered to call the owner to open it. We told her that wasn’t necessary, and she offered to drive us to the store the next morning. She took us to the resort, which was on Chery’s property. Lynn told us that the laundry machine was out, and then she offered to take our clothes to her house to wash them! I was so grateful and couldn’t believe how nice she was being to us. We were given sarongs to wear while our clothes were getting washed.

Nick loving his sarong

We met Chery shortly after and chatted with her a bit. She told us that she was prepping our dinner and to come over to her back patio around 6:00 p.m. She had prepared a burrito bowl with cauliflower rice. It was delicious and wonderful to have a home cooked meal after being on the trail. She asked us what we wanted for breakfast and told us she would make whatever we wanted. Back home we normally made tofu scramble for breakfast. We asked her if that was possible, and she said it was! We couldn’t believe how well we were being pampered.

Later that night I video chatted my mom. I talked to her about the next box that she was going to send, which was to Paradise Valley Cafe. I told her what to put in the box.

Relaxing at the yoga retreat center

Chery ran a yoga class in the morning at 7:00 a.m. Nick and I both enjoy yoga and were both really looking forward to the yoga class. Chery had been practicing and teaching yoga for several years and was incredibly knowledgeable. She had been hosting PCT thru-hikers for a decade and developed a yoga class specifically for hikers to prevent injury. I was and continue to be very concerned about getting injured on the trail, so this class was exactly what I was looking for.

After yoga she made us our tofu scramble breakfast. We happily scarfed it down. We then packed up our things, checked out, and Lynn drove us to the nearby store. It was open and we resupplied for our next leg of the trail. Lynn drove us back to the trail, and we began hiking around 11:30 a.m.

We felt great and completely rejuvenated. We had planned on hiking nine miles, but we decided to push on for 13.5 miles. We hiked through some valleys and saw some cows. It was a relatively easy day with great weather. The previous two days had been hot! Right before we made it to Warner Springs, we saw a rattlesnake eating a poor rodent right on the trail. We bushwacked to get around it and continued on, but not before taking a few pictures and a video.

Valleys and cows

Selfie with a cow

I’m happy not to be that rodent

Toward the end of the day, we saw another hiker, Jessica, taping up her legs. She was determined to hike on and get her new backpack in the next town, Idyllwild.

We made it to the next campsite right by the river. Mary and Joey were setting up when we arrived. We were happy to see them again. They came and chatted with us for a little bit before we went to bed.

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