Dan and I just arrived at Hiker Heaven in Aqua Dulce. It's a house owned by the Saulfley's, a couple who has offered their home to all hikers along the PCT. It's a place to socialize, rest, shower, and resupply. It's an incredible act of generosity by a family who obviously cares about hikers. Anyways, another great week has come and gone along the PCT.
The week began as Dan and I resupplied in Wrightwood and received a ride from a hiker named Wingheart from Baltimore, who is section hiking the PCT this year and who just happened to have his vehicle in town. Dan and I were able to camp in the high country of the Angeles National Forest, with amazing views of Mt. Baldy and Baden Powell. It was quite nostalgic to be camped overlooking the city of LA once again, and to gaze at the peaks that have inspired awe, dread, and happiness for the last two years. The next day, the PCT led Dan and I to Baden Powell, and after an hour of some sketchy snow travel, we achieved the summit and were rewarded with views of Baldy, San Gorgonio, Jacinto, and the snowy peaks of the High Sierra. We also met Jersey Fresh at the summit, who has changed his trail name to Indie. (You can read his trail journal here.) After Baden Powell, we hiked past Throop Peak which I hadn't seen since last summer. After camping at Little Jimmy Campground, Dan and I headed down the South Fork trail towards Devil's Punchbowl. At the end of the day, we met up with hikers Stax and Ursa Major once again. We camped near the visitor's center next to some picnic tables where the ground was covered with ants.
The next day, we were greeted by the much dreaded road walk detour. Due to last summer's Station Fire, a 46 mile section of the PCT has been closed and hikers are required to hike roads around the burn area. It actually was not as bad as we thought it would be. The views were great, the weather was surprisingly cool, and we leapfrogged several of our hiking friends throughout the day, Indie, Stax, Ursa Major, and a new guy Captain Kamikaze. After a 25 mile day, Dan, Indie and I camped alongside the road in a wash area and had a relaxing evening.
Dan and I finished the detour the following day but first met with an elderly couple at Blum Ranch along the road. Elizabeth and Ray have been running the family farm since the 1950's, the homestead has been in the family for over 120 years. They entertained us with stories including the drama surrounding last years fires, Elizabeth's brief stay in the county jail at 68 years old (the police department apologized profusely after an incident involving a power tripping cop), and stories about the family. They gave us fresh fruit for our journey and I bought the most amazing tasting honey that they acquired from their bee farm. After a long day of road walking, Dan and I finally rejoined the PCT and camped in one of my most favorite spots so far, a cave near Vasquez Rocks. It was more of a cliff overhang, similar to one you might see at Mesa Verde National Park. I'm sure many people have sought shelter in this area over the years.
Finally, Dan and I met up with Indie this morning and had a fantastic hike to a Mexican restaurant in Aqua Dulce, watched the World Cup game involving USA and England, and hiking to the Saulfley's at Hiker Heaven. This week, we begin the much anticipated desert section of the PCT, where we begin our trek across the Mojave desert towards our next trail stop in Tehachapi.
Thanks for reading and talk to you all soon...
Flyboxer and Dan
Michael, I will send you another chip tomorrow along with a PO address to send the empty discs. Cool maps by the way!!