Day 3 to 5 – An Experience To Be Had

Cibbet’s Flats to Scissor’s Crossing

Mile 32.6 – Mile 77

Beware, hikers within

My approach to the trail last year was as a problem to be solved. With a late start in May and a hard stop in early October, an underlying sense of urgency drove me and I paid the price. This year I am trying a more relaxed approach, going slower, and enjoying whatever the trail has in store.

All hail the Wolverines

So when I arrived at Mt Laguna around midday and found a group of trail angels setting up at the campground for the weekend I paused. The Wolverines of the PCT we’re cooking burgers, doing pack shakedowns, and providing places to camp. Did I mention there was beer too? All free just because Steve Climber, Stumbling Norwegian, Gourmet, Hoosier Daddy, and Todd wanted it so. The great accordion of PCT hikers compressed there and many people stayed for a good time. Plenty of time to make miles later and so I stayed too.

Trail magic courtesy of the Wolverines

Mom liked Mt Laguna too

The next morning I was off early to rendezvous with Joel, he of maple bar angel fame from last year. We met up at lunch time and by special request, more maple bars! Joel rolled up in his rockin 4×4 Sprinter van loaded with water, snacks, beer, and all things delicious for hikers. “Hey Joel, you’re about to be as popular as you want to be…” I said as the leading edge of the hiker group behind me came into view. He happily hooked up the first group before heading further up the trail where we planned meet and go find a camp spot for the night. After a hot afternoon walk, Joel came strolling up the trail, turned around and walked back to his van.

Staying ahead of the weight loss

Hot afternoon walk

Nice Sprinter Joel!

How all the hikers camp every night, honest

Ho hum, Cajun blackened salmon for dinner

After dropping water for those that followed, we skedaddled to find a sweet camp site up a remote 4×4 track. We had a great time talking Sprinter vans, drinking beer, and telling stories. A delicious salmon dinner, early to bed, and an even earlier ride back to the trail.

Today was the hottest walk yet down from scrub hills to the desert floor. An easy hitch to Julian won me a free hug from the famous trail angel Carmen along with a beer, foot bath, and free piece of pie at Mom’s. I will return to the trail tonight to camp but will continue to stop and smell the cactus whenever I can and enjoy the experience as it comes.

Thank you Joel, thank you Wolverines, thank you all!

Strawberry rhubarb at Mom’s Pie House in Julian

Desert in bloom

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