Day 25 - Warner Springs Loves HikersMile 109.5 to 115.4 (5.9 miles hiked)
I woke up early so that I could head to the post office and grab my food. Because I'd mailed some forward in Julian, I was actually running a bit low and wasn't sure I'd make it to Idyllwild with what I had. I needed my resupply.
I popped over to the Post Office, then met Sits at the Golf Grille for breakfast. As much as I really loved the Warner Springs Resort and felt that it was actually a special surprise, the Chicken Fried Steak I had for breakfast held a little surprise for me. It would tease and taunt me for several hours. ...
Let's just say it was on the questionable side of fresh.
During breakfast, I spread all my food and snacks and toiletries around the table. I counted the days to Idyllwild and worked to determine my needs. Anything I didn't need, I planned to ship forward to Idyllwild, where I'd do another inventory and bounce more goodies ahead, even a bit further. We polished off breakfast, then I revisited the post office to send my remaining goodies north.
Sits' approach to meals is different. I cooked all my meals in advance and am meeting boxes of that food at various towns along the way. Sits, on the other hand, is buying all his food as he walks north. I had my
food, but he still needed his food and the gas station wasn't quite going to cut it. We knew that the town had a Resource Center, with some resupply set up for the hikers.
We packed our packs, checked out of our cabins and went to the road to hitchhike to the Resource Center. While waiting, a gentleman by the name of Scoop walked by with his resupply box from the post office. He told us that there was a short trail through the trees and that if we wanted to get to the Resource Center, it was a mere 3/4's of a mile away!
Sits and I both looked at our feet. We were still wearing sandals. Neither of us was in the mood to put on our shoe system, just yet. We agreed that walking with all our stuff in sandals was a bad idea and, in unison, said, "Nahhh... " to Scoop who quickly disappeared behind the first tee.
After about 5 minutes a lovely woman pulled over and we piled in. It turns out that she was one of the organizers of the Resource Center and expressed absolute enthusiasm for the hikers and what their presence and money does to help their small community. She LOVES the hikers and seemed thrilled to have us with her.
Warner Springs Loves Hikers!
She drove us the 1.2 road miles to the Center, then grabbed a bunch of hiker goodies and brought them into the center. She then told us to register and introduced us to the registrar. We signed up and received a list of services and a tour. WOW!
The Resource Center had an old Airstream set up outside. It was FILLED with top of the line ultralight backpacking meals, clothing, repair kits, shoes, food and more. To top it off, it was pumping out some funky James Brown.
The Front of the Center was loaded with hikers, in various states of comings and goings.
Camping in the grass.
If I hadn't just eaten some weirdly sour Chicken Fried Steak, I have every confidence I would've loved some of the BBQ they had set up for the hikers!
Inside was a computer and charge station. Yep, they gave me my very own laptop and desk, so I could pay my final power bill in Mexico. No International transactions with mobile apps. I'd needed a dedicated computer. ... And they had three!
Inside hikers were organizing, chatting, eating, drinking, resting, planning, thinking and just generally doing what hikers do when they're not hiking.
There were hiker boxes full of free stuff other hikers didn't want. You're also welcome to dump stuff too heavy to carry. One person's junk is another's treasure!
Aside from warm bucket showers out back (which I didn't know about until it was too late, else I would've happily camped here, they also offered lavender and epsom salt foot baths. Yes, please!
They also had walls of hiker food, snacks, powders, gels, butters, fats and more.
Pain management, anyone?
Let's just say I was thoroughly
impressed with what the town of Warner Springs had assembled for the hikers. I could've stayed there for days and just had a blast watching the mayhem, while taking bucket showers and slamming Pulled Pork Sandwiches (not at the same time, mind you).
After a few hours of just dawdling and enjoying the ambiance, we knew we had miles to hike. So, we set out on the trail.
Hiking out of Warner Springs.
The Lizard King.
We didn't have far to walk. Less than 6 miles would make it one of my shortest days on the trail, but one mile of it was a pretty sinister uphill crawl and it was hot and very much the center of the day. Sun beating down. .. I was sweating rivers.
I don't know if you can see this, but that's sweat dripping from my forehead. No special effects or cheating was used in the creation of this video.That's legit unprovoked liquid. This is why I need so much water. It straight up leaks out of me!
We hiked until we arrived at the final location for reliable water. Even though I'd had a great night sleep the night before, I'd hiked a lot in the previous few days and hadn't had time to let my body and muscles catch up. I'd also felt very nauseous during the day. It's almost
no fun to hike in the heat with an upset stomach. About 1/2 mile from the camp site, I could simply take it no longer. I grabbed my Dig-Dig tool, sanitation kit and cozy roll of TP then made a quick trip deep into the woods. I returned feeling a whole world better. Surprise!
We hiked until we finally hit our campsite, a nice sandy spot by a running creek. I knew that the next day was tough, with over 12 miles to go about a rough 2000 foot increase in elevation. I also knew it would be hot and long, with no options for water. I talked Sits into waking up early. .. At 4:00am. He reluctantly agreed.
I set up camp, climbed into my tent and fell fast asleep.
(Truly! I quickly and instantly drifted off to sleep. .. For about an hour. Then, I tossed and turned the rest of the night. But, it was warm, for a change!)