Day 10 – Sunday April 23
Montezuma Valley Road Mile 101.1 to Warner Springs Community Center Mile 109.5
PCT Miles hiked today : 8.4
Feet Ascended Today: 825.5
Feet Descended Today: 1252.3
Current Elevation: 3037
Today we had a leisurely 8.5-mile walk to the Warner Springs Community Center so I wasn’t in a big hurry to get going. As we were breaking camp, Greg (our Trail Angel friend from yesterday) ambled up in his shiny gold shorts and striped headband. We were all in hysterics over his outfit and everyone’s cameras came out for photos.
Shortly after leaving camp, the terrain changed abruptly and we found ourselves in a grassy prairie. Red grasses waved in the wind as far as the eye could see.
The landscape reminded me of the rolling Palouse hills in Eastern Washington. The trail went through the prairie and was easy on the feet. We passed a troup of boy scouts as we hiked.
As we walked through the grass, we came upon one of the more famous landmarks on the PCT: Eagle Rock. Eagle Rock is a giant rock formation shaped exactly like… well an Eagle. Pretty amazing. We took a break at Eagle Rock for a while and enjoyed the warm breeze and magical views.
After Eagle Rock it was just a few more miles to Warner Springs. It was an easy walk but my foot started hurting again so I had to slow down. By the time we arrived at Warner Springs I was visibly limping and feeling discouraged.
There’s not a lot going on in Warner Springs by way of stores or restaurants or accommodations, but the town has rolled out the welcome mat for PCT Hikers at the Warner Springs Community Center. Hikers can camp in the yard under the oak tree and use the restrooms on the grounds. The Community Center provides bucket showers (where you pour water over your head with a pitcher of water) and you can hand wash your laundry in a bucket too and hang it on their clothes line. They even provide loaner clothes and towels. The Center also provides a decent hiker resupply store and even sells canisters of fuel, flip-flops, duct tape, etc.
We spent the afternoon washing clothes (and ourselves) and walked a mile to the restaurant at the golf course for dinner as it was the only restaurant available.
After dinner, Stefan showed me some exercises with a foam ball to help massage the muscles on my foot. It seemed to help and I was encouraged that this could help relieve the foot pain I was experiencing.
I put in earplugs since we had such a big group of hikers camped under the big oak tree. Another great day on the PCT!