May 8, 2015 (2nd Re-Ration – Warner Springs)
Campsite off trail before Barrel Springs (98.0) to Warner Springs Resource Center (109.5)
11.5 miles today
110.5 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: + 1,037 ft, – 2,117 ft
This morning we woke up to snow!! It rained all night long, starting around bedtime, and then this morning the raindrops got larger and slushy and when we looked outside it was actually snowing. Weather certainly adds another element of adventure when you’re living outside 100% of the time. We managed to get all packed up inside our tent, and then very quickly make the transition to getting outside, gathering up our soaking tent while our hands froze, and getting back on the trail. We were very grateful for our umbrellas today, as we were able to hike the first few miles of the day, while it was snowing and then raining, without even getting our upper bodies wet.
Within the first hour, we had come upon our first major “milestone” (pun intended) on the trail – we were at mile 100! We took some overjoyed photos, got a little more organized since the rain had let up, and kept moving. Today we were meeting my mom for our second re-ration at Warner Springs, and we only had to hike less than 12 miles to get there, which had us moving fast. It’s hard to believe that we are already seeing my mom again and getting more food. So far, despite our slow pace, I’ve actually felt a bit rushed out here on the trail. It’s like days, and now weeks, are flying by before I’m ready for them to end. I’m hoping that things slow down once we get some more routines and settle in for the long haul.
We got to Barrel Springs water source about an hour into our day, re-upped on water, and then entered a radically different ecosystem than where we had spent the last few days. The 8 miles leading up to Warner Springs reminded us at times of Scotland, Patagonia, and New Zealand, even though we’ve never actually been to those places. We walked through forested high desert, followed by fields of yellow, followed by deep, jungle-like forest. We even hiked past “Eagle Rock”, a huge rock formation that looks just like an eagle, and took epic photos of us with the beautiful creature.
Our time at the resource center has been fun and relaxing. My mom brought us a delicious homemade car-camping taco salad dinner, we took showers, got to socialize with up to 20 or so other hikers, and are now getting to use their internet. So very convenient! Tonight Don, my mom, and I all packed into my mom’s car and watched “Do More With Less”, a great documentary about the PCT that just came out and got us even more excited about all that is to come. Tomorrow we’ll spend the morning here, and then make it another 12 miles in the afternoon. I’m looking forward to seeing what every new mile has in store.