We woke up nice and early and started our morning hike before the day got too hot. The mornings in the desert are so cool and beautiful with a soundtrack of birds, wind and the crunch of sand dirt under our feet. The desert views just keep getting more and more beautiful.w
It’s like being a postcard all day long. I feel like I’m floating without a care in the world. We hiked the 8 miles into Pioneer Mail Picnic area where we could take a break for the midday heat and and refill on water. Finding a spot with water, shade and a place to get rid of trash is the trifecta…UNLESS you have the splendid experience of meeting a trail angel and then you have really hit the jackpot. We were hanging at a picnic table with all our gear laid out when a guy pulled up and asked if we were hiking the PCT. We said yes and he replied that he was looking for us. Bangarang is his trail name and it was a discussion and visit that brought me to tears twice in the course of 45 minutes. He lives in Vegas and drove the 5 hours up to California just to be a trail angel this weekend. He had a trunk full of snacks and cold drinks for the taking. Rob and I grabbed some Doritos and cold drinks and chatted with him for a while. He hiked the PCT in 2015 and 2016 because he said he felt like he had come home when he was on the trail. That really hit my soul and I feel the same way. The people that meet you out here, the community, are all looking for the same simplicity and peace of mind and connection with nature. It’s unbelievable to be surrounded by like-minded individuals. Bangarang commented on how working for the man feels soul sucking but it serves the purpose for getting back on trail and being hiker trash. I related SO MUCH to hating working on the office. Being outdoors for a week and serving my soul and not a corporation feels like I am home and I am my best self. Rob and I both agreed that the encounter with Bangarang was so overwhelming. It warmed our hearts that he drove so far to seek us out, to connect and show us some love. This is the trail community that we so looked forward to!!!💜 At Pioneer Mail we hooked up with Tasha and Boston, 2 other thru hikers from Oklahoma that we met. They are awesome and we hiked another 8 miles in the afternoon to Sunrise Trailhead where we camped in a windy meadow. We zipped together our sleeping bags for some snuggles, recounted the wonderful encounters and hike we had that day and slept under the stars. What an amazing day☀️😊💜‼
We began at sunrise, wrapped up camp quickly and began our day into the desert landscape. Thankfully someone cached clean ware near where we camped since the last place we filtered water was not the best tasting. We dumped that and took the fresh clean bottled water. We are coming into the Anza Boreggo Botanical Park area which is going through a Super Bloom due to so much rain in the desert this Spring. The trail has become full of flowering bushes, huge Orfila flowers and tiny little wild flowers. We reached Rodriguez Tank Road for a water stock-up, quick lunch n siesta. We met up with Tasha n Boston again and decided to take a side trail so we could hitch into a cute little tourist town of Julian. The four of us were ready for a shower and some real food. The side trail was in the big heat of the day and a little taxing but worth the walk. We shared a little suite at a B n B, cooked fajitas for dinner, sat up and talked and had “family movie night” before crashing inside for the first time since the Mexican border. We have all made our first communal hiker family together and it’s really nice.
**I’m finding it difficult to get all the photos in the places I want them in the paragraphs on my phone. Sorry for all the mix ups but hopefully you’re enjoying 😊
Glad you have been able to make some friends. You really are gaining so much already from this experience that I think it’s great.
Enjoying your trip.