Our 8th and 9th days on the Pacific Crest Trail. We battled wind, desert heat, and cows. We resupplied in Warner Springs.
Day 8: April 26
Start location: mile 86 in a dry creekbed’s camp site
End location: mile 105 along San Ysidro Creek
Miles hiked: 19
Woke up at mile 86ish after getting through the prior night without the tent blowing over. We started walking late, around 9am, in sunny, cool, but gusty weather. It took awhile to take down the tent due to all the guylines. It also took awhile for everything to dry.
We hiked 5 miles, mostly on a ridge line, till the “Third Gate” water cache. Views were open and expansive through the morning. Gusty weather following the pattern of the prior day and night continued, but diminished in severity.
We took a long lunch at the Third Gate cache. It’s immediately adjacent to a jeep road, and surrounded by comparatively shady trees and shrubs. We began walking again around noon after stopping around 10:30am. While lunching, another couple stopped for water.
It was while departing from Third Gate that we noticed our Tyvek sheet was missing. Later in the day, near county road 22 at mile 101, we discovered from another hiker that it blew off Rick’s pack somewhere near mile 88.
We passed mile 100 in this timeframe. It was uneventful, the only distraction from the scorching heat being a small rock monument.
We arrived cr22 around 3pm. The trail in the cr22 area has multiple cattle gates on either side. We filtered water from a piped spring which pours from a few feet above into a horse trough. Other hikers, including the couple from Third Gate, soon arrived. We were walking again by 4:15.
We walked 4 or 5 miles to San Ysidro creek. On the way, we met our first horses on the PCT. Along a narrow ridge we were passed by three southbound horses lead by a couple heading to the CR22 lot.
In the 2 miles before San Ysidro creek, and for almost 10 miles after, the trail is mostly meadow. That is, large fields of grass suitable for raising cattle.
At San Ysidro creek we found a pleasant, tree filled gulley with water flowing through it. It was a small quantity of water, but comparatively flowing well from the previous days’ rain. As we set up camp, we noticed signs of cow…
Day 9: Day of The Cow
Start location: San Ysidro creek
End location: mile 115 along Agua Caliente creek.
Miles hiked: 10
We woke early and packed up quickly. We were walking by 7:30am. We felt great for starting early. But soon our progress was slowed by cows that were walking along the PCT. For a bit we couldn’t make them move. Eventually, we figured out a method of simultaneous yelling and clapping which made them scurry further along the trail. We proceeded in that fashion for about .05 miles before they got off the trail.
We passed lots more cows. And, eventually, Eagle Rock. It’s a large rock in the Warner Springs area that looks like an eagle.
We arrived at the Warner Springs resource center around 9:30am. We ate a second breakfast. For the next 5 hours we did chores. Our resupply box was thrown off by having skipped trail miles; Erica had to travel to the post office twice. Thankfully, a volunteer runs shuttles. We showered and, eventually, ate lunch. Hikers we’d previously met, including our friends from the AT, arrived.
By 3pm we were walking again. Rick soon stopped because his belt wouldn’t straighten. Apparently it’d broken in the laundry and one of the volunteers at the Warner Springs Resource Center had attempted to fix it.
We made it about 5 miles up Agua Caliente creek. We passed an abandoned car campground, presumably now on Warner Springs Ranch property. Nearby was a poorly maintained obstacle/adventure course; the sort companies send employees to on team building retreats.
We passed, on property signed as private, what appeared to be an attempt at a hiker shelter. Opening the door to peer inside, though, revealed a shed full of trash.
We crossed Agua Caliente Creek multiple times during our ascent to our current location. We filtered water, set up camp, and ate dinner. Then we blogged (wrapping up now at 8:20pm). Now we’re going to sleep.