PCT Day 11 – Monday April 24
Warner Springs Community Center Mile 109.5 to Mile 116.1
PCT Miles hiked today : 6.6
Feet Ascended Today: 930
Feet Descended Today: 500
Current Elevation: 3448
I woke up sleepy today. I slept well but I was feeling really groggy this morning and had a hard time motivating. Dew was condensed all over the outside of my tent for the first time this trip so far.
We left our tents to dry out and walked the mile back to the golf course for a leisurely breakfast at 8:00 am, this morning joined by Martin from Germany. Martin is a jovial fellow and always seems to be in a good mood. His company is very entertaining. Today he was sporting a new pair of shoes as he had to cut a hole in the last ones because they were too small.
After breakfast we went next door and got our packages from the post office. I had sent myself too much food, again, but otherwise I was pretty happy with my resupply box and planned to put the extras in the hiker box. We walked the mile back to the community center with our packages to sort out our bags.
This morning I also checked out the mobile outfitter parked by the community center. The company 2 Foot Adventures has an entire store catering to thru-hikers packed inside a gleaming silver airstream bus. I was happily surprised with the selection available and bought 4 feet of leukotape wrapped around a pen, blister pads, and a small physical therapy massage ball to massage my right foot and hip.
My foot felt a little better this morning after last night’s PT session with Stefan but started to get sore on the walk back to the community center. Halfway offered to let me use some of his Voltaren Gel, which is a prescription-strength topical Ibuprofen. So I’m applying that a few times a day to see if it brings down the inflammation.
Cool Breeze hit the trail around 11:30 am with plans to camp at a steam about 10 miles up the trail. Halfway, Garnet Turtle and I took longer to unpack our resupply boxes and we hit the trail a couple of hours later. Poor Stefan had to wait behind for a pair of shoes to be delivered to the post office. He wasn’t entirely sure when the package would arrive but he’s a fast hiker so we were sure that he’d catch up.
It was an overcast day today and cool in comparison to the hot weather we experienced over the weekend. The hike out of Warner Springs continued through the prairie-like grasslands that we experienced the previous day for a mile or so and then started entering more of a wooded landscape. We took a lunch break at some picnic tables near an enormous oak tree and then continued on.
After lunch, the trail started gaining elevation and followed Agua Caliente Creek for a few miles. We had to walk carefully to avoid the numerous poison oak plants that lined the trail in this area. It was a poison oak fiesta!
At mile 116 I decided that was enough for the day. My right foot was in a lot of pain. We had walked slowly and had taken several breaks and only ended up hiking just over 6 miles today. Our campsite is a lovely spot near the creek – I can hear the water flowing and frogs ribbeting. Garnet Turtle elected to camp with me and Halfway planned to hike a mile or two up the trail. We never did end up catching up with Cool Breeze today after all.
As we were finishing our dinner Stefan hiked into camp wearing his new shoes. They finally arrived! Now he has a pair of Altra Lone Peak 3.0 shoes too (these are the most popular shoes for through-hikers). He set up his tent near the creek and we all settled in for the evening.
I tried to sleep without my earplugs so I could be lulled to sleep with the creek and the frogs but I kept hearing rustling sounds in the grass near my tent. It was freaking me out. Earplugs solved that problem!