Saturday, May 10, 2014

Day 29 - pct mile 384 to fire station at mile 419

So, after a nice warm night at the parking area, we were planning on hitching on the mostly deserted highway in order to get around some closure, and skip the ultra long (19 miles) official alternative and somewhat shorter old alternative.
4 happy hikers, after a wonderful ride down the trail. Thanks, Barbra.
The hitching bit seemed to be the problem. We were just waiting for cars to come around, when Kyle and Snail Trainer came down from Little Jimmy campsite together with Barbra, a weekend hiker they've met up there last night. I immediately zoomed in on the car they were heading to, and asked her if she might be going in the direction we needed.
Apparently, Kyle and Snail Trainer were planning on hitching a bit further than our original plan, and it took very little persuasion to get us on their plan. So, we hitched from 386 to 399. Skipping all detours, and a bunch of trail miles. Sorry.
Down the trail from 399, I admit I wasn't really excited crossing the 400 miles mark. It's not like I walked it all. Oh well. A bit later we got to our water source, and filtered some yellow colored water from a spigot. They tasted fine.
Onward, the trail crossed the highway another time, and finally stopped following it. Near Sulphur spring it got a bit strange, with one trail going down to the water, and the other remaining on the ridge. We weren't sure which one was the pct, so we just remained on the ridge, and made our lunch stop just after they met again. Oh - and we actually took a nap of about 20 minutes!
From there, the trail kinda went up slowly, going over big areas with a lot of Poodle Dog Bush we were trying to avoid. They supposedly cause skin irritation, but I'm not sure I'm sensitive to it at all.
The next water source was a nice spring near the end of the climb, and I had my 1 liter Gatorade drink from it. That was a nice spot.
Just about an hour further, we reached a very nice area for resting, full of hikers. Penguin was just getting there and heading out, and Sunbeam was there (and I didn't recognize her at first with her hat on) and many other new faces.
We rested there shortly, and then I put on my music and headed down the final 5.5 miles to the fire station. It was an easy trail, and I think I raced it in under 2 hours. That was rather fun.
Here, at the fire station we all crashed under a nice pergola, filling up our water, and cooking dinner, and charging phones. After a while most hikers headed down a bit further to the campground by the road, though a few headed out to hike 5 more miles today. That's hardcore!