101.1 – 109.5
i wake up throughout the night, i keep thinking it’s time to hike. not yet, i tell myself at 11 & then 1 & then 3. finally at 5 i give up & slither out of my sleeping quilt. i sit up for a awhile, blinking, & then stuff away my things & fill my hipbelt pockets with bars. less than 10 miles to warner springs & shower & maybe even a half day off again (i’m getting luxurious!) i’m out of camp by 6:10 & revel in the coolness of the air as i cross the freeway & begin the morning climb. today the landscape is completely different from the desert planet that i’ve been on. i cut across endless fields of hypnotizingly illuminated purple grasses & inviting copses of oak trees. one of the guys who also camped at the springs last night catches up after a while & we chat about his experiences hiking solo on the appalachian trail & mine so far on the pct.
after a while we come to a weird rock formation but i know what to expect & i trot around to the front to get a good look at eagle rock. there are lizards hiding in all it’s crevasses & the rock is nubbly & fun to clamber around on. my foot has been bothering me- i have a sneaking suspicion that the entire bottom of my left foot is one giant blister. i sit down in the dust to investigate & surprise! i’m right. cool. this definitely explains why it feels like i’m stepping on a packet of mustard everytime i put my foot down. warner springs is only 3 or 4 miles from eagle rock so i decide to go on & deal with my foot when i get there. i limp down & into an oak lined corridor with a strange little sulfurous stream & more day hikers than i’ve seen in a while.
i find the guys underneath another oak tree in the lawn beyond the resource center at warner springs & i spread my crinkly groundsheet under a tree & snack on triscuits & the olives i’ve had since campo. there are already lots of tents set up in the shelter of the tree- seems like most people are planning on staying for the night. i agree to hitch to the post office with young gun & ropeburn & butcher but before we can even make our way to the road we are offered a ride by a volunteer at the warner springs resource center. she gives us the full tour of the area: gas station, post office, golf grill. at the post office the man looks again & again for my food box. “do you have your tracking number?” he asks. “no,” i say, feeling dumb. i can remember the exact moment when i lost it, sometime in the chaos of moving all of my things to hallie’s house before i left portland. okay, then. i think about it & realize that i realistically only need food for 42 miles so, after pizza with other hikers on the patio of the golf grill, i put together my first gas station resupply. honestly i’m pretty excited about it. i have string cheese, tiger’s milk bars, fruit snacks, more bars, crackers, tuna packets, pretzels & those weird sesame snacks. i’m not proud to admit it, but my tastes are definitely skewing towards the child’s lunch lately.
it’s not hard to convince me to take the rest of the day off for my blistery feet so i shower, do laundry, charge my phone, catch up with hikers i’ve met before & talk to some i’ve not. in the evening ropeburn plays his tiny guitar as the sun sets & everything feels good & right.