Hi, my name is Isko Salminen.
I'm an adventure seeker and I love exploring nature with my camera and Australian Shepherd called Fire

Day 33: Casa De Luna

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Date: June 1, 2017
Miles: 4 miles (6.4km), from mile 474.2 to Casa De Luna.
Health: Well rested after long sleep. Pain on the front of the right shin bothers a bit.

 Note: as my camera is still broken (see day 25), all photos here are from iPhone 7 Plus. 

I woke up lazily. The saddle I was sleeping on was perfect as it kept the sun out, both in the evening, and in the morning. I was in no hurry. I had to do 4 miles and it was mostly downhill.

My shelter had dried up nicely during the night so I could pack it up again and not worry. I probably won't be using it again for awhile. I stuff my pockets with a light breakfast, I'm trying to make it to the Andersson's for the famous pancake breakfast.

The trail is easy but my right shin is causing some problems. I take some ibuprofen and continue hiking. Hope this isn't going to be a problem as I really don't want to slow down now.

The road! 

The road! 

The miles go fast and soon I see the road. Down where the trail end at road, I see a car waiting, a ride to Andersson's? This would eliminate the few mile road walk there. I know there's a small group of hikers just few minutes ahead of me so I start slowly jogging down the trail. I'm hoping to catch them and hop on the same ride.

Soon I see them a little bit ahead. We arrive at the road about the same time and I see some familiar faces around the car. It's the girls, Morgan, Kristen, Laurel, and Pig Ben. They're heading out as I'm coming in.

The ride to Andersson's.  

The ride to Andersson's.  

I get a big hug from Terri Andersson. She's giving rides back and forth to her house. We wait few minutes to see if the two other hikers behind me need a ride as well. They are pushing on so we leave to make it to Casa De Luna for breakfast.

It's a short drive and as we arrive, we meet Joe Andersson who gives us a quick go around, tells us the rules of the house, and then tells us to go enjoy the pancakes. I'm hungry so I run into the kitchen.

Front yard at Casa de Luna.  

Front yard at Casa de Luna.  

The front yard is full of hikers and I quickly find our trail family. We exchange stories as I finish my pancakes. While I'm eating, Terri brings in another group of hikers. The place looks great for relaxing. I'm also offered a selection of Hawaiian shirts to wear. Everyone else is also wearing one.

Once I'm finished I start to wonder around a bit. On the front yard there are tables, seats, and sofas for hikers to chill in. There's a rock painting station, portable toilets, a charging station, and trash cans. On the side yard you can do laundry and chill in hammocks.

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The backyard opens up to a small frisbee golf area and then to a magical manzanita forest. There are multiple trails that lead into the forest and they wiggle around. There are spots for sleeping and all over the forest you can find the rocks previous hikers have painted. Going around the forest is slow as you constantly stop to read the messages on the stones.

One of the entries to the forest.  

One of the entries to the forest.  

So true.  

So true.  

I quickly find a spot for myself close to Blü, Fyre, and KB (Sunshine). After that we go out and explore all the different paths around the forest. You could easily get lost here in the dark.

For lunch we all head out to the small Cafe close by. I order a BLT with fries and a large chocolate milkshake. Their milkshakes are done from five big scoops of real ice cream. Yummy!

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I'm way too full to walk but we slowly make our way back to the house. Now it's time to wait for the taco dinner at 7pm. If we're not hiking, all we think is food.

We chill in the hammocks and drink beer. It feels great just being, doing nothing. I also take a shower and do a little laundry.

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Around 5pm we see a familiar face appear to the side yard. Blis! Finally! He was off trail for three days and has now caught up to us. His ankle is doing better and he also has new shoes that are helping with his ankle.

Blis is back! 

Blis is back! 

At 7pm there's a big table on the front yard with a huge taco dinner. Terri makes a speech about the proper etiquette and then tells everyone to go wash their hands. Then about 50 hungry hikers line up to stuff themselves with tacos.

Terri's speech.  

Terri's speech.  

Lining up for tacos.  

Lining up for tacos.  

I make such a huge dish for myself that I don't think I can finish it, but soon I'm standing behind Blü for seconds. He's getting his third round.

After the dinner all the new hikers gather on the front yard and after doing a small surprise chore, get their PCT bandanas. I'm "officially" a PCT thru-hiker now as I have my bandana.

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We stay out for a little bit and then it's time to find our way through the dark maze to our own spots in the manzanita forest. This is one of the coolest spots I've ever slept in.

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Tomorrow I need to get to Lake Hughes, which is about 8 miles away and 2.1 miles off trail to get my new camera. Hope it's there as the Amazon tracking has been showing it arriving for three days now and I really don't want to end up waiting in Lake Hughes as my friends hike onwards. We're hiking the LA aqueduct in three days and I really want to do that with everyone.