Pacific Crest Trail (2019) 17: Bikes Are Like Boo

Sunday, March 31, 2019 – 13 miles

I left camp early this morning in preparation for a hot day. Just before the spur trail to a water tank I was planning to visit, an unexpected stream was trickling across the trail, and I collected enough water there to cover the remaining distance to Paradise Valley Cafe. The upcoming water sources are reported to be caches or inclement, with reports of hikers getting sick and feces found in one source (I definitely was told or read a claim last year about diarrhea coming out of a tank, but thought it was the same kind of myth as the rescue horse…). A passing hiker noted that he had seen a group of cars on the road and suggested that maybe they were driving hikers to a trail angel’s place 0.3 miles down the road. No one would drive anywhere to ferry hikers 0.3 miles, right? Please?

At the trailhead on Lost Valley Road were a garbage can and a fancy wooden trail angel structure holding a cooler and uncovered box of citrus fruits. You would think that rodents would nibble the fruit, but maybe they don’t like citrus.

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I was thrilled to see the garbage can, since (not to disgust the reader with graphic details) a loose bowel movement and accidental dropping of toilet paper into the cathole had produced a baggie of pure trauma that needed to leave my pack yesterday. I tossed it and my other garbage. On the back of a sign, someone had plastered a sticker ‘Bikes are like boobies’, but someone had blacked out the ‘bies’ so that it said ‘Bikes are like boo’. Ha.

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I kept encountering noisy pairs of hikers today, and lots of hikers. To camp, I was aiming for a flat area that eTrails describes as containing many sandy clearings suitable for camping. Indeed it did – it was like a warren, with each clearing connecting to another, so you could wander for a long time. I chose a small clearing that in retrospect feels cramped, but it’s a decent distance from the trail so I’m happy except for my chafe which isn’t healing. I definitely erred by not buying a product for chafe in Warner Springs – sunscreen is not a adequate replacement – but will have another opportunity in Idyllwild. Before then, I’m going to try wearing my thermal bottoms while hiking.

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