Mile 77.1 to 94.2
Oh how I loved staying in town and getting to start the trail again freshly showered and my clothes laundered albeit hand washed. The Julian Lodge was a great place to stay and very hiker friendly. My only recommendation would be onsite laundry.
My 630 ride from the Julian Lodge failed to show. I headed to the coffee shop to grab a warm Chai and then called the WTT shuttle which was pricier but reliable and I was hiking by 845. According to my friendly shuttle driver Maurice, the area near the trail is known for arrowheads. Makes me wonder what happened here…hunting or some sort of massacre. The trail out of Julian was uphill but was a steady well graded up that it didn’t seem so bad. I was already pulling my umbrella out as the heat from the sun increased by mid morning. The trail carved in and out along the mountainside and the terrain seemed unvaried. I’m am still stopping every 2-2 1/2 hrs to refuel and switch outs socks and clean the sandy/dirt grit from my feet…got to get these blisters healed. I hadn’t seen a single hiker on the trail all morning and was surprised that I felt so good being alone, in the heat with terrain that was less than appealing to me. Notice NOT A CLOUD! About 1pm I crossed paths with a trail runner from my next town stop in Idyllwild who has also has sectioned hike the PCT. Other than this 30 minute encounter there was nobody until I reached the third gate water cache about 2pm when I ran into Ashley and FIL and two southbound section hikers. Let me tell you about this wonderful cache…it is maintained by a trail angel and without it we would have to carry enough water for a 24 mile stretch and the next source is questionable with recently having dead rats floating in it…gag! After collecting 3L’s from the cache I walked back up on the trail and found a shaded spot for an afternoon lunner of macaroni and cheese, Fritos and then a lounging siesta . Two new guys who are thru hiking walked by and we briefly chatted before they hiked down to the cache. About an hour later Alison, then Bri and Kellan and another couple arrived. I loved this gathering especially as I had been alone all day but had to cut it short as I had to head up trail to bust out a few more miles out to make the trek into Warner Springs reasonable before the post office closes at 130 tomorrow. I hiked 4 more miles and began searching for a camp site. I passed several but must have been channeling Goldilocks because none were just right until mile 94.1 when I stumbled across a site tucked in off the trail that was well protected from wind and less visible from the trail. This is the first time I have camped alone on the trail…eek!