This morning it still felt like we had a long way to walk down to the Interstate Highway 10. A few miles down there was fresh spring water to fill up with. This is where we met Bob who was responsible for guarding the fresh water source to ensure it wouldn’t become contaminated by trespassers. Bob said we were in much better shape and spirits than some of the other hikers he’d come across at this point. He told us he’d seen Wendy the day before and directed us down the road which was actually the PCT, leading us to the Interstate 10.
Our next stop was Ziggy and the Bear, two trail angels who actually bought a property right on the PCT so they can help out hikers. Incredible. Before we reached their home we hit a road and rail overpass where coolers of soda were awaiting us. The drinks were icy cold and after walking across the windy desert floor to get there I can tell you that Mountain Dew has never tasted better.
Again I can’t believe people take such good care of us hikers. We wrote our names in the register and I drew a little picture of Muk Muk on the wall. While we were there another trail angel arrived to drop off some fresh bottles of water. She kindly took the photo of Chris and I below.
Then it was on to Ziggy and the Bear. I had to stop for a quick pee break and after continuing on some distance realised that I’d left behind my sun gloves. I dumped my pack and ran back, surprised not only by how far I’d already walked but also by how easily I could run without all the weight on my back. I was so lucky to find them as the wind was blowing a gale and the landscape all looked the same. The only way I knew approximately where they were was by a note Chris had written on the ground when he’d walked ahead of me. Those who know me well will understand the relevance of the name ‘Poo Bear’.
When I arrived at Ziggy and the Bear’s, ‘the Bear’ greeted me, instructed me to put my pack down and then brought me a warm foot bath with Epsom salts in it to soak my feet in. I was given a towel for my feet and an additional towel for the shower. There was a basin where we could wash clothes and free Gatorade to drink. This place was unbelievable. We all had to sign in and have our picture taken for their records. I was the 269th hiker to come through this year which means I’m still slightly ahead of the pack.
Chris had a couple of boxes sent to the house, one from his mum which had his food resupply until Big Bear City, three days away. When he opened it he discovered enough food to make it through California!
After a shower I rested in the sun for a while before having pizza and Root Beer. The overdose of fizzy drink played havoc with my stomach and poor ‘Poo Bear’ had to spend some time in the porter loos before heading out around 7pm to night hike 9 miles to the next water source.
As the sun went down the trail went up, climbing 1,800 feet before winding down some steep ridges with the wind pounding us from all sides. We were actually glad to be doing this section in the dark, 1. because we couldn’t see just how far down the cliffs were and 2. because we didn’t have to walk it in the scorching sunshine.
We made it to camp around 10pm and polished off a hot chocolate and coffee scroll to end another successful 15 mile day, especially considering the long break soaking up the hospitality of such generous trail angels.