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 5: Julian


Date: May 4, 2017
Miles: 14.9 miles (24km), from Rodriguez Road to Scissors Crossing
Health: Legs hurt from the night hike and I slept poorly. Blister on my right heel is ok. 

After a poorly slept night I woke at 4:45am. Some had already gone out and as I was putting my stuff together, Blü left also. I gave some of my extra water to Rebecca as she was running low, and I knew I could make 8 miles with about a liter before it gets too hot. 


Although it was still early, the trail was surprisingly hot. It snaked along the mountain side and at times I could see Blü on the opposite side. But the trail was rough. I drank more water than I had planned and needed to start moving along quicker as the sun was getting higher and soon it would make this shadeless trail unbearable. And I needed to get down from the mountain before I ran out of water.


I finally reached the valley floor and began the 2 mile hike to Scissors Crossing from where you needed to hitchhike 12 miles to Julian.

I met a SoBo hiker who was heading out towards the mountain where I just arrived, and right before the hottest part of the day. I gave her a warning that it would not be a great idea, she thanked me and told me she had plenty of water to make it to the next water source. I later learned from Black Swan that he had met her just a few miles ahead, where she had realized how hot the trail was, and had to turn back.

Hitch to Julian


As I approached the road crossing to Julian I heard the sound of an ukulele and saw Blü hiking along the highway towards me. He had spend some time with others under the highway bridge at the water cache.

We were joined by three other hikers and after about 20 minutes, got a ride from a trail angel who shuttled hikers between Julian and Scissors Crossing.



At Julian, we were left in front of Carmen's. She's a trail angel that lets smelly hikers to shover and wash their clothes in her restaurant while ordering drinks or food. While others headed to wash their clothes, we wanted to get our free apple pie.


In Julian there's a famous pie shop called Mom's that offers free pie and a drink to all thru-hikers with a PCT permit. The rest of our bubble was also there. We sat down and I got to taste my first ever real American apple pie. It was so good!


Then we wobbled back to Carmen's. Julian is a small town, kind of like an old western town, where all the houses are along the main road. You can walk through the town in less than 5 minutes. I really like the atmosphere in here!



The scene at Carmen's was sort of hectic. A lot of smelly hikers in different levels of nakedness, wearing clothes from the hiker boxes as their own clothes were still in the washing or drying machine.


As you arrive, you hear the house rules and you get a free drink. I went with an ice cold beer. As I had slept so poorly, the scene quickly became too much for me and I decided that I needed to get some rest. Only available rooms left were at the Lodge and I happily paid the price to get away from the heat and to get some sleep.

I took the first shower with all my clothes on. The amount of dirt that came off of me was unbelievable. As I was still dirty after a second shower, I decided I needed a bath. I don't generally like baths but this time it was divine.

Bath time

Bath time

After washing my clothes multiple times, I set them to dry and got on to bed. I had three days worth of photos, videos, and text to transfer into blog posts. I imported all the photos from the camera, edited them, copied all the texts and started the slow process of uploading. Even in towns, the internet here seems excruciatingly slow. It takes up to 5 minutes to get one photo uploaded and I can't get videos to upload at all.


After working on my blog for way too long, I headed out to get my resupply for tomorrow. Warner Springs is 33 miles, about a two days hike from here, but you can't buy anything from there as there's no store there. For that reason many hikers send resupply packages by mail there – but I didn't.

I'm leaving with three days worth of food and I'm hoping to score some more from hiker boxes in Warner Spring, enough to get me to Paradise Valley Cafe, about five days of hiking.


My only concern is the approaching storm that's supposed to arrive the day after tomorrow bring rain and snow. I don't want to get caught up in the mountain when the storm hits the area so I need to really buggy down the trail tomorrow as there's a big mountain between Julian and Warner Springs that I need to hike over.

On my way back I went to see few hikers at Carmen's and then it was time for bed. My pack is going to be so heavy tomorrow as I need to carry about 5 liters of water to make it to the next water source which is the Third Gate Water cache. You're not supposed to rely on water caches but without the cache this would be almost 23 mile water carry while going mostly uphill.