Date: May 6, 2017
Miles: 18.4 miles (29.6km), Third Gate water cache to Warner Springs.
Health: Tired but healthy. Got few new blisters during the last few hours last night but nothing bad.
I woke up later than usual and after getting a liter of water from the cache, me and Jordan got on our way. I can't tell how grateful all us hikers are of the wonderful work the people who maintain this cache are doing. We heard that it takes a full day for 4 persons to get the water, drive it close by, and then fill the cache, take out the empty containers and to keep it as clean as it is.
Without this water, many hikers would be have a very hard time crossing this section. Thank you for all the work you're doing just out of the kindness of your heart!
We had 18.4 miles (29.6km) to make it to Warner Springs, and about 10 miles (16.1km) to the next water source. I left the cache with 2.75 liters of water which should be more than enough.
The air was still a lot cooler and the wind added to the cooler feeling. It was a lot easier to hike in this kind of weather than when it's hot.
After about 5 miles I started to feel really good and started to up the pace. Jordan stayed back and so I hiked ahead passing other couple on the way. I've had one Eagles song stuck in my head ever since day 4 when Blü played "Take it easy" on Ukulele. I put the song on and soon I was flying down the mountain side playing air guitar with my hiking pole and singing aloud.
I was feeling really good and the miles just kept going so easily.
At one point I started approaching other hikers from behind and noticed they didn't hear me coming so I yelled out "coming from behind!". They didn't seem to notice so I yelled again. No reaction. By this point I was right behind them and as I got there I noticed they had earphones on and they were listening to music. And not only listening but singing along out loud. Right as the last hike was getting in to the chorus he noticed me and obviously jumped as he didn't realize I was back there. I apologized and said I had yelled. They just laughed and let me pass.
At one point I was looking at my mileage and noticed I was approaching the 100 mile marker (161km). Soon the trail turned and there it was, 100 miles. Now I only need to repeat this 25 more times.
I took a quick photo and continued down. Soon after that I reached the next water source. The German hiker from last night was there, as was an another hiker called Snake Eyes. We were all about to eat. It was much colder down here than up in the mountains and I needed to put on my puffy.
Just as I got my food pack open and a nice tortilla done, a couple section hiking the PCT came to the water faucet and told us there was trail magic just 100 feet away. Some one was making hot dogs for hikers. For a second we wondered should we go or eat first, as we had everything out already, and go then. But at that moment the predicted rain started and we quickly packed our gear and headed to the direction of the said trail magic.
At the trailhead the was an RV and an nice couple who made hot dogs, had ice cold beer and sodas, and let all us hikers to use their motor home to sit in and to protect us from the rain.
Again the kindness of people just blows me away. The trail angels had driven their RV to here just to give hikers a Cinco de Mayo fiesta. As they had ran out of fajitas and other food, now they were serving hot dogs that they had brought as a backup. This was their first time doing trail magic, but they said they had enjoyed it so much that they would come back next year and even try to follow the herd up north to an other location to do more trail magic.
As the storm was getting closer, I wanted to get to Warner Springs as quickly as I could. Others were thinking of staying here but Snake Eyes said he'd join me. As the rain subdued a little, we got our packs and hiked on, thanking our dear trail angels as much as we possibly could.
The scenery changed heavily. As we were down from the mountains, now we were crossing grass plains that were swirling in the wind, looking like rivers of gold. It was fun hiking in an new environment.
Miles went down quickly but the wind kept my legs cold the whole time. I was worried that my muscles would start to cramp.
The Eagle Rock
After a while we reached the famous Eagle Rock. I had completely forgotten that it was on this section. How fitting that I had just earlier listened to Eagles. We took our photos quickly as the storm front was gaining on us fast. As we saw the clouds roll through the plains, we knew it was rain gear time. Not long after that the rain started.
We hiked on as the rain and wind kept coming and going. Soon Snake Eyes wanted to take a break but I was still feeling it so I hiked on alone. Not long after that I reached Warner Springs and was greeted by familiar faces. It was good to see them again.
Neal had hiked ahead but I understand that as he only has two months to spend on the trail.
I quickly got the law of the land and setup my tarp under a large tree where a small tent city had already formed. All hikers were huddled up in the nearby Community Center where you could buy some drinks and snacks and sit inside warm.
As the Community Center later closed, the lady gave few of us hikers a ride to a restaurant a mile down the road and I hopped on. I'll happily eat real food every chance I get. For of us smelly hikers crammed in to her car and we were on our way.
After the dinner we walked back and as the hiker midnight was approaching, got in our tents and started to go to sleep. Before turning in for the day, I noticed Jordan, Snake Eyes and the group from last night had all made their way to Warner Springs. I keep wondering where Rebecca is, and hoping everything is fine with her.
There is surely going to be a ton of snoring this night.