Mile 98 – Warner Springs Community Center (Mile 109.5)
We hit our first big milestone today- the mile 100 marker!
There was frost on our tents this morning. Thankfully, we had an easy 11.5 miles into Warner Springs, so we let ourselves sleep in. We probably got going around 6:30-ish.
I was packed up first and took off, walking through a cloud for the first mile or so. Quiet. I was alone when I almost stepped on the little “100” someone had made from rocks. I stood there for a few seconds comprehending what this marker meant. In the last week, I have walked one hundred miles. That’s not insignificant.
I had taken off my pack and was plugging my phone in to my battery pack to charge when the others walked up. We all had a moment with the marker, took pictures, posted them, made some phone calls because we had reception. Then, on we hiked- 2,558 more miles to go.
It was a gorgeous day. A perfect day. A completely different day than one we’ve had before. We walked through fields of purple grass, over rolling hills, through an oak grove beside a babbling brook. We had a siesta at Eagle Rock and dried out damp gear. Eagle rock is a small outcropping of rocks in a giant rolling field of grasses. From the back it just looks like a pile of rocks, but from the front, it looks just like a majestic eagle with wings outstretched. It is easy to imagine that this must have once been a sacred sight.
With dry gear and rested feet, we walked the last three miles to the open arms of Warner Springs Community Center. The WSCC is a little group of buildings just off the trail. They have a tiny hiker resupply store, a couple of computers, free wifi, bucket baths, and a field in which to pitch a tent. All of this is donation-based, and the money raised is used to help the lower income people in the community. Jeanie, a sweet volunteer, drove our stinky selves down to the post office to claim our resupply boxes and mail a few things home.
I now have SO MUCH FOOD! What was I thinking? I went through all of it and couldn’t figure out what to get rid of, so I just kept it all. Our next town stop is about 4-ish days away, so I’ll probably eat most of it by then. Luckily, we don’t have a long water carry out of here- only 2 liters.
After the post office, I charged my phone, took a bath in a bucket, washed my clothes in the same bucket, hung them to dry, checked about 50 times to see if my phone had charged yet, ate some Girl Scout cookies, commiserated with other hikers about the awful wind (we all agree, the wind can go to hell). Then the marvelous people of the WSCC made us burgers and chicken soup! It was, indeed, good for my soul. Ah, life on the trail.
Megan and Nate are getting up at 5 to head out, but Wang and I have decided to take it easy and wait until the center opens at 8:00 to finish a few items of business before we head out.
We heard from Dudders (Dudley) today. He’s been resting in Julian because he had a really terrible blister. He’ll get back on trail tomorrow and we hope he will catch up eventually. I think he’s decided to adopt Dudders as his trail name, which I gave him by accident, so I’m pretty excited about that.
In other news: my ears are sunburnt from yesterday and my cheeks, lips and nose are chapped. So much fun.
I bid you goodnight from my tent, in a field with at least 30 other tents, with owls hooting, frogs croaking, hikers snoring and farting, and cars driving by on the highway.
Today I met: Snake Eye, called so because he’s already seen 12 snakes on trail. Ew. No one else of note that I can remember, but we did see Rocket again, who we met in Julian, but I’m not sure I mentioned yet. Rocket lives in Albuquerque and we bonded over our love for Marble Brewery.
Today I learned:
– That a bucket bath can be just as glorious as a real shower when you live outside.
Today’s hike was powered by the excitement of my first resupply box from home!