Welcome to Paradise

Exactly one mile east of the trail at Hwy 74 (mile 152) lies a hiker haven called Paradise Cafe. As Tuesday is their one day closed during the week there was a lot of talk as to whether or not it would be open. Luckily I heard from Wendy further up the trail who said the cafe was open until 3pm today. I hadn’t planned to go but after my feet were giving me grief I figured it would be the perfect spot to give them a rest!

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I had already popped the blister on my little toe twice last night so this morning I got out the pin and created a hole big enough that wouldn’t heal shut, a tactic passed on from dear Dr Sole.

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It was a cold windy morning so I made coffee and breakfast just outside my tent so I could remain in my sleeping bag. I was on the road by 6:30am and only half a mile from the water cache. I only took 3 litres this time which helped a lot once the trail started climbing through the mountains again.

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I felt fantastic for the first 7 miles, then my feet really started to ache. I think they were complaining about the 20 mile day yesterday. I usually stop at intervals to take off my shoes and give them a good massage which helps a lot, especially this time before the one mile road walk to the cafe.

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I considered hitching but wasn’t really sure what to do. At first I just hoped someone would stop, then I tried facing the traffic and smiling before I got enough courage to stick out my thumb. After three cars sped past I decided to give it up and walk. I hope my attempts improve as the distances to town increase.

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I had the Jose Burger which everyone raves about in Yogi’s guide, without jalapeรฑos. It was quite delicious, but that and a lemonade played havoc with my hiker food accustomed stomach, all the more reason to lie in the shade for the afternoon before putting in a few more miles.

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I’m currently nestled between a few bushes about half a mile from the next water source on a side trail off the PCT. I have no service at the moment so hopefully I can post this in the morning.

I got a message from Chris this afternoon saying he had called the Paradise Cafe to ask them to leave his resupply box outside as he expected to get there this evening. When I was half a mile heading back to the trail I realised I could pick up the box and take it back to the trail with me to save him the 2 mile walk. When I got back to the cafe I met a guy called White Lightning who immediately said “you must be Muk Muk!” He had been hiking with Chris but sped ahead to try and reach the cafe before it closed. He said not to worry about taking the box as they were going to meet at the cafe, but for my troubles I managed to hitch a ride back to the trail in the back of a van next to a couple of surfboards with a man named Bill.

I had a day hiker follow me for the first 3 miles after the cafe and ask me all sorts of questions about the trail. I had just tried putting two insoles in my shoes and because I was chatting I ignored the pain on the top of my right foot until it had created a painful gash over my big toe. When the other hiker left I got fed up with the pain in my feet, threw down my hiking poles and tore off my shoes. I decided the only way I could keep going was to wear my trusty purple Frocs. As difficult as they were to walk in, especially given the steep rocky incline I was travelling on, they actually felt a lot better and spurred thoughts of new footwear possibilities. I walked over 5 miles in my Frocs before I came to the steep rocky trail down to the Live Oak Spring which I’m camped on now. It’s 22 miles to Idyllwild so I won’t make it tomorrow like I’d hoped but I have plenty of food to keep me going. I even dropped off about four dinners and a few extra bits in the hiker box at the cafe to lighten my load.

10 thoughts on “Welcome to Paradise

  1. Wow! Life sounds like a rolling coaster on the trail and here I am sitting in front of a computer for most of the day. Hummmmm- I think I need a change of pace.

    Donna

  2. Muk Muk!!! You are doing AWESOME!!! Did you not love those 7 miles after Warner Springs???!!! Ok I have finally caught up on you blog and will now go back and a few comments but wanted to say hi! I’m super envious of your adventure but grateful to have a glimpse of what I get to experience next year! Enjoy each and ever moment Muk Muk! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hi Aunti Rozi, not sure about hitching on the PCT but in Australia i hitched from Melbs to Adelaide and it was simply a matter of sticking out your thumb… sometimes I waited hours before someone would stop though….3 cars…hmpphhh sometime 3000 would pass by before I got a lift. I always thought being male was a disadvantage. Having been in a car with you after a flight from Canada to Aus however, I can’t imagine what you would smell like now. I can understand why no-one is stopping hah hah… Loving the fashion shots, where can I get a hat like that??? and your gators would blend right in in Brunswick (ij). ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Haha yeah I can’t even imagine the stench I’m omitting at the moment. If it’s anything like my tent is starting to smell like then it’s BAD!

  4. Hi darling, putting your stomach in over drive, it certainly needed a siesta. That Jose Burger just looked delicious. I am amazed about the Trail Angels who put all that fresh water there, fantastic work. Thanks to the frocks, they are your feet savers. I could become your private feet masseuse, gosh would love to be there in that rugged country, it looks beautiful. Success for the next miles. Love Mutti xx

  5. I know where to get Chris a hat like that. He’ll love it. I’d have thought there was a way to deal with the ongoing torture of the feet.- did Dr Sole say you just get over it or do you make some major changes to footware or surface treatment. In the past I used metholated spirits (rubbing alcohol) but the problem is essentially a combination of tissue softening from heat and moisture and the abrasion between the feet and footware. What did the Indians wear on their feet? Not boots or Adidas I guess – just a life of conditioning which you don’t have time for.

  6. Rozanne. Ok I admit it is the first time since you left that I have checked your blog and I am so impressed. You are so cool ๐Ÿ™‚
    I love it. Take care lovely ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks lady!! Glad you were able to check in! It’s absolutely beautiful out here! Hope you’re doing wonderful. Say hi to Greg for me!

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