Yesterday and today kind of rolled into one another because of the massive detour the day before. We woke at 5am up on the saddle and poor UB slept badly because of a huge infected blister he had on his heel. I convinced him to stab it Muk Muk style with a needle and although hesitant at first, he gave it a good lancing! We had about 5 miles to walk to the rejoin of the PCT close to water and a campsite. We bumped into Lion King coming in the opposite direction. He had been so worried about us after he heard from the Swedish guys that we went the wrong way because he didn’t think there was any water.
We all ended up relaxing in the shade together and I had my first peanut butter and jelly wrap! UB and I spent most of the day watching and laughing over some of the videos we took the day before and sleeping off the long night hike.
We had to keep shuffling as the shade moved and eventually around 5pm we decided to head to the next water source at Cooper Canyon campground and then cook dinner before heading off to hike through the night again. We saw Pac Man’s name written in the dirt and heard from Lion King he was only a few miles ahead so we figured we’d catch him today.
We cooked up another huge meal of mac and cheese, tuna casserole and salmon. We’ve both been blessed with huge trail appetites now and a lot of our day is dedicated to eating or talking about our next meal!
We left the campsite as the sun was going down and thought about doing close to 20 miles. We passed the 400 mile mark but by midnight our bodies were beat and we ended up cowboy camping on an isolated dirt road after trying to pep ourselves up with a cup of coffee.
After four hours we woke at 5am and got up to hike again. We were having a good chatter this morning about the rules of cricket, golf and the like when we stumbled across Pac Man packing up his campsite. I hadn’t seen him since Warner Springs and it honestly felt like years had passed and so much had taken place for both of us since then.
The three of us hiked together and at one point a helicopter circled us and flew above us stationary in the sky for a few moments. UB freaked out that maybe he had accidentally hit his spot and signalled for rescue but I think they must have just been practising.
Once again there were some beautiful views along the way. A detour because of a fire a few years back meant we were road walking about 4 miles to a ranger station to rest and get water at for the next long stretch.
After a late breakfast of oatmeal we rationed our food for one more day and tried to get our pack weight down. It was 36 miles to Agua Dulce from the ranger station and UB had in mind he might try and do the entire distance in one day. Unfortunately another 14 mile road walk because of the poisonous Poodle Dog Bush on the trail meant a huge uphill climb and extremely sore feet for me in my sandals. I even had to go back to wearing my purple Frocs because the pain was so bad. UB went ahead but Pac Man and I called it a day around 7:30pm after 26 miles. My feet were so tender I spent most of the last 2 hours distracting myself by talking out loud in my Margaret Thatcher accent, making up stories about the PCT for Pac Man who soon asked for silence on the final stretch. We were both hurting when we set up camp and discovered UB is only 3 miles ahead because he ran out of batteries for his headlamp. Tomorrow we’ve got 22 miles to the Saufley’s Hiker Haven in Agua Dulce, can wait to soak and rest my feet!