Mile 455 to Casa de Luna (The Anderson’s, mile 478), 23 miles + 2 mile hitch
Worried that today was going to be a scorching hot day like yesterday, I was eager to get started early. I got up around 5:15 and tried not to wake the others while I moved my stuff over to the gate and packed my bag.
As soon as I started walking, the previous day’s Mexican feast was threatening to embarrass me as I hiked along the road back towards the mountains… I was worried it was going to be a similar scene to that of the bride sitting in the middle of the road in a wedding dress in the movie Bridesmaids. On the very rare occasion that the PCT goes along a road I was desperate to find a bush!
There’s a guy called Papa Smurf who is adamant that everyone hiking the trail will poop their pants on the trail at least once, I’m adamant it’s not going to happen to me!
The trail left the road and climbed back up into the mountains but it was a nice breezy morning with a bit of cloud cover. My pack was heavy because I was walking 25 miles (to Casa de Luna) without the promise of any water sources along the way, so I was carrying 6 litres of water as well as 5 days of food. I was stopping more often than usual to bend over and stretch my back with my pack on (or look at the ants is what I usually tell people when they ask!)
I was exhausted and after 10 miles I stopped to eat lunch, hoping that food would give me the energy I needed… I still had another 15 miles to go. I ate cheese and crackers, dried mango, dehydrated apple, pretzels, almonds, peanut m&m’s and gummy bears – surely this would give me energy! It didn’t and the miles just didn’t seem to decrease today.
With 7 miles to go and wanting to crawl into a bush to have a nap, I came across a cache maintained by Trail Angels, Terrie & Joe Anderson. It was like paradise!! It was fully stocked with sodas and beers, and there were plenty of chairs in a shady spot with flamingo balloons and crazy things hanging from trees. I was so grateful as I took off my shoes, sat on a chair with my legs resting on another and opened a coke.
I was at the cache with Sunroof and Todd when Wetdog arrived too. I stayed for about an hour, trying to muster up the energy for the last 7 miles.
It felt like the longest day on the trail when I finally arrived at the road. I was planning on staying at Casa de Luna run by the same Trail Angels who maintain that cache (Joe & Terrie Anderson) and it was a 2 mile road walk to their house from the PCT. I had passed Todd on the last stretch of trail so I waited for him to catch up and a car stopped and picked us up before we even had a chance to stick out our thumb for a hitch! The driver was a friend of a hiker and knew exactly where we wanted to go 🙂
When we arrived at Casa de Luna we were told to grab a Hawaiian shirt, find a space in their enormous back yard to pitch a tent and just make sure the gates were closed. Terrie Anderson greeted me with a massive hug and I was also greeted by the same awesome group of hikers who were at the Acton KOA. I knew it was going to be a terrific evening!
I pitched my tent, changed into the Hawaiian Shirt and soon after, Rowan & Cuban B arrived too. The three of us walked down to the shop to buy some beers and snacks and dinner was almost ready when we got back. Dinner was awesome! A taco salad/burrito buffet, beers and terrific hiker trash company 🙂
This is the perfect place to take a zero day as it is so chilled out and I feel so tired so tomorrow I’m staying put!