Date: May 21, 2017
Miles: 17.8 miles (28.6km), from mile 317.9 to mile 335.7.
Health: Morning I felt a bit slow, but after the siesta I felt absolutely amazing.
We woke up early and packed up our gear quickly, we wanted to get on the trail to beat the heat and to make it to the Silverwood Lake early to get the rumored pizza delivery.
In 20 minutes I made my way from my sleeping bag to the stream close by to filter a liter and a half for the hike. As we were getting ready to leave a southbound hiker approached us and asked our trail names. After a short discussion he tells us that he's hiking the trail and giving trail magic. We get to pick between coffee, cookie, or chips. We all take chips. Thank you GoalTech.
We still get on the trail when it's dark and start our hike. The mountains are beautiful at dawn and we stop often to marvel and photograph the scenery.
We're constantly going downhill and start approaching the small town at the foothill of the mountains. Once we get down the scenery changes. We hike along a highway, and at one point through a industrial zone. We see some large pipes and make a quick detour to take our official PCT band photos.
After a little more road walking the trail wiggles back to the woods and we ran into some trail magic. It's early but we stop for ice cold water, candy, strawberries, and a bottle of rose wine. We carry the wine out for our afternoon pizza. Crimson agrees to carry the bottle if we pay for his part of the pizza, we all instantly agree.
After little more hiking, the weather is getting really hot and hiking without umbrella gets almost impossible. We hit a larger climb and I can't keep up with the others in the heat. Soon though I hear yelling and hollering from the top and wonder what all the fuzz is about. As I get to the top I understand. We're looking at a massive lake.
Everyone's excited to get away from the heat and to chill by the lake. The excitement soon wears off as we realize we're at the complete opposite end of the lake and we still have over 5 miles (8km) to the rest spot.
The trail wiggles along the shore of the lake little bit up from the shoreline. The heat is getting unbearable and I keep sweating bucket loads.
Finally we reach the road that takes us down to the lake and to the rest spot. We run down the road and throw our packs on the tables in the shadow. It's way too hot to be out in the sun.
Sunshine starts to organize the pizza order. She's organizing the order like a real professional. I keep wondering where she still gets all the energy. Soon we have the order ready and she calls it in. The place is still closed and doesn't open until another hour and a half.
We sit in the shade and use the faucet close by to wash our dirty clothes. Time goes by slowly and we're starting to get hungry.
Finally the pizza place opens and we can get our order in. And then we hear that they don't do deliveries on sundays. Sunshine sweet talks the pizza owner to call his delivery man to come to work on a Sunday with a promise of a hefty tip. After some waiting we hear back and it's a success. The driver even agrees to do a beer run and to get us a 24 pack of beer on the way here. Sunshine collects everyone's contributions and it looks like the driver is going to earn a nice tip for a short work.
Finally the driver arrives and as he steps out of his car he gets a loud round of applause and cheers. Soon everyone has a plate full of pizza and an ice cold beer or soda. It gets real quiet. Eating thru-hikers are silent thru-hikers.
We wait out the heat in the shade and me and Queso took a dip in the lake. A passing by ice cream salesman makes a killing by selling his cart empty to us hungry hikers.
Soon it's time leave again and we set out to the cooling evening. It's still hot as hell though. We do a little bit more road walking and then the trail starts to climb back up the mountain. After all the pizza and sodas I feel strong and me, Sunshine, and Queso power up the long climb. Before we even notice it, we've done over 5 miles uphill and we're at our next water source.
We fill up our bottles and and start descending downwards. Queso and I set out to a really fast pace where we're basically running down the trail. I time our pace and we're doing close to 5 miles per hour (8km/h).
We soon reach spots were few other hikers are staying for the night but push further. Then we reach a dried up riverbed and as I look at the topo map, this is going to be the last possible place to sleep for the night. You're not supposed to sleep at dried up river beds in the mountains due to flash floods. We look at all the available weather reports and there isn't any precipitation in the entire Southern California during the next five days so we feel quite safe to brake this rule for now.
Soon Sunshine comes down as well and sets up next to us. The soft sand makes the ground really soft and smooth to sleep on.
We don't feel sleepy at all and talk really late in to the night. We talk about the stars and constellations, our favorite movies, and quantum physics. Queso is celebrating his birthday tomorrow so he carried a beer from the pizza lunch and plans to drink it in the morning. This was a good day.