May 9, 2011
Day 7, Warner Springs
What a day! Started out in not so favorable conditions: camped atop a high mountain ridge (see photo in video), wind tearing up the side of the mountain in response to the differing pressure systems in the valley below, about 38 degrees, with no sun in sight at about 5:30am. Where was I? Huddled under my wet sleeping bag, which was covered by a tarp soaking with rain on the outside and heavy condensation on the inside, laying in a puddle of water with my clothes soaked clean through. Not good! I decided to stay in that situation, as undesirable as it was, rather than to expose myself to the current temperatures. I’d wait another 90 minutes to allow for slightly warmer temperatures, then break camp & hike like I had a crazed, rabid dwarf chimpanzee on my back, over the crest of the mountain, down the other side, and into the valley below where I knew warmer climes awaited.
As we were breaking camp, slinging my pack over my shoulder, a hiker stopped & introduced himself. His name is Heading North, from the U.K., 63, and he’s also heading north. :). I hiked with him the entire way to Warner Springs, where we picked up our resupply packages from the post office (thanks sis!), got a very cheap room (we fit 4 people in one very reasonably priced room & split the bill…grimy, dirty, smelly? Yes. Economically aware? For sure!). Hiking with Heading North was truly one of the most pleasurable parts of this journey so far. I hope everyone has an opportunity to hike/work/know a kind, gentle soul as him someday. Brilliant chap! He’s currently snoring in the other room, undoubtedly dreaming of the next set of uphill mountain switchbacks he gets to climb.
After devouring every single delicious homemade caramel in my care package (I adore you!!), I headed out to find WiFi to (finally) upload the journal entries & a video or two (more are coming!) and have some dinner. I found a very nice note on my blog from Anya, a student in my friend Jean’s 3rd grade class she teaches. It was very encouraging and uplifting to know her class is following along. So, hello everyone in Anya’s 3rd grade class! You are awesome! Thank you all for coming on this journey with me!
After dinner, I headed down to the sulphur hot springs located here. Very hot, very relaxing, and my body sure was grateful for the soak! The hot springs here has been used for thousands of years by the native people of this land, and have always been looked at as having healing, healthy attributes. I could use that right about now! As I was in the hot spring pool, I saw Gabriel (who I wrote about in the first entry) walk up. He had heard i was there, and actually had found me in the pool from an entry on my website! Totally fun stuff. It was great to see him! I had heard through the PCT grapevine that he and Marmot were here (they arrived yesterday), so it was awesome to see him. We talked a bit, then he left to find Marmot, and brought her back to see me as well, and she did a special dance she said was her “I’m happy to see you!” dance. It was incredible. I have no doubt we’ll see that dance on Broadway someday! :). They will be heading out tomorrow morning so they’ll again be a day ahead of me. If you guys read this, I truly appreciate both of you and wish you many blisterless & happy miles until I see you again.
Now, it’s bedtime, in a real bed, drinking a lot of Gatorade and Emergen-C to replenish my needy body. Tomorrow is my first true “zero” day, and I’m planning to stretch, massage, rest, & rehydrated my sore muscles. Good night!
Rawhide (aka “ManChild”)