Mile 160ish: San Jacinto Mountains

We camped up in the San Jacinto mountains. During the night, it got windy and it started to sound like rain.  The next morning we found that it was actually snow and the temperatures had dropped below freezing.  We were both warm enough.

Three other PCT hikers – Mason, Schweppes and the Mayor (who we enjoyed leapfrogging with for over 1000 miles) camped next to us. There was a detour because of the Mountain Fire, so the next morning we hiked down off the ridge at mile 162 past a sprawling girl scout camp (Camp Scherman) to Hemet Lake Campground.

Mile 106: Eagle Rock

Eagle Rock is a cool rock formation a few miles before we got to Warner Springs, CA where we picked up our resupply package.  It seems too perfect so we debated if it was man-made or not.  We did not reach a consensus.

Mile 62: Sunrise to Rodriguez Spur

Being overly conservative with our water proved to be a problem when Ben became very dehydrated overnight.  We made it to a fire tank around mile 62 where Ben tried to wait out the dehydration under the edge of a bush, while Stacy watched a giant rattlesnake slowly chase a crippled duck.  After going through cycles of drinking water and vomiting it back up for most of the day, we met an elderly group of hikers who had taken a beat up old pickup to the water tank.  They were exceptionally nice and took Ben to get some Gatorade and dropped both of us off at the Julian Lodge.  Ben felt bad about not thanking them better, but he was focusing on not fouling their truck (successfully I might add).  We stayed two nights in Julian and it was quite pleasant.  Friendly people, good food, nice lodge, and reasonably priced.

Mile 60: Sunrise Trailhead

Water in the desert! Yum.

In southern California, we came across a few horse troughs (like the one above) that had been overfilled and had no side drain. This provided a stagnate pool for algae to grow. Since the water had so much algae, most folks were trying to pre-filter with a bandanna to prevent their filters from being clogged.  We were fortunate because some trail angels had dropped bottled water next to the trough. We wanted to be nice and only took a few liters. This proved to be a problem the next day…

Mile 33: And to Mt. Laguna

We stayed at Cibbet’s Flat Campground and shared a spot with an older guy on the PCT.  He was a retired game warden from Washington.  He was basically budgeting 20 miles/day all the way to Canada and we fully believed he would do it.  The next morning, we woke up early and enjoyed a pretty cool (~50 deg F) walk up to Mt. Laguna where we saw a sign saying not to throw snowballs.  In Mt. Laguna, we picked up a resupply package, ate lunch, and walked to the Laguna Campground.  We decided to take a day off since Ben’s shins were bothering him.  At the Mt. Laguna Outfitters Ben picked up some compression sleeves that he used on and off for at least 1000 miles.