Day 55 - Ian and the PCT - May 30

We were in a rush to check out of the hotel before checkout time. We got it together, but we needed to ship my packages. I had five to mail; fourfull of food to towns ahead and one to home with trekking poles and some other gear I was trading out. The carbon fiber poles from Gossamer Gear are amazingly light, but they are liable to break in the snow ahead. I needed sturdier aluminum poles with lever locks and Ian had brought me some. I had also upgraded my charger to one from Anker with two plugs that could charge at 2.4 amps each.

We weren't on the side of the road long with all our boxes before a truck pulled over. We got a ride from Rich, a firefighter. He's on the trail angel list. He told us that to live here, you have to shuttle hikers during the season. It's just part of the deal. I really like this town, we get so many great rides. It's one of the places I would go back to again.

At the post office, there were no tubes for sale, so we bought a large box, cut it up with pocket knives and made a long triangular box.

Rich came back to pick us up while the box was under construction. He waited for us to finish and gave us a ride to the trailhead at Willow Springs Road. Flatfoot called while he was taking us to the trail, asking for a ride at 2:30.

We met a thru hiker from Oregon resting in a little shade provided by a large bush. I later learned her name is Adam. While we were sitting there, we heard a rattle from the bushes. Adam saw the rattlesnake first and we all jumped back out of the shade, leaving our packs sitting there. It just seemed to be hanging out in the bushes, but it was hard to see. It went further back into the shade. I noticed a bunny laying in the shade not far from us. It looked like it was sleeping and didn't care that we were five feet from it. Is it alright? That doesn't seem like normal bunny behavior. I got a little closer to check it out and the bunny moved, but then laid down again. I guess it's ok. Shade is at a premium and apparently it doesn't mind sharing. Adam left and then I realized I still had a beer in my pack from town. Well, it's not going to get any colder, so we drank it then.

Target practice?

Drinking beer in the desert.

As we started hiking again, Ian noticed a dirt devil in the desert floor below us. It was like a small tornado made of dust. It didn't last long. It's fun to hike with someone new to the desert. Ian keeps stopping to see interesting things like blooming cacti. It's all new to him, these things I've seen a hundred times now.
We crossed into and out of a cow pasture with a herd grazing, including a bull. He just looked at us and we kept moving.

We're passed by a woman moving fast and we take a break under a tree. We can see her taking a break on the next ridge over. As we hike on, we're looking down at busy highway 58 and train tracks Then we went downhill on switchbacks to a road off the highway. We roadwalked down the road, crossed the highway on a bridge, then walked parallel to the highway for a mile, looking down on it. We started to call out all the vehicles we saw. Several trucks full of onions passed by going towards LA. The trail finally turned up away from the interstate. We stopped for dinner soon after. My shoulders hurt when I have to carry so much weight, so I take a short break every hour to gice them a break. I've got 8 days of food and 6 liters of water, my pack is heavier than it's ever been.

As we're getting ready to leave, Steele and Special K (Korra the dog) hike up. Special K is excited to see us! Steele tells us she is energetic after a zero day.

We're in their pasture.

The trail follows the interstate.

Special K
The first campsite is taken, but we find another not too far away. There were a lot of sites around there, and Ian quickly found another rattlesnake. He backed up quickly. It was coiled up. We found a spot nearby as far as we could get away from the snake.


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