Day # 7 – April 22nd: I was finally able to convince myself to leave the comforts of Warner Springs and I hiked to last river crossing. I sat down to have dinner and just as I was finishing up I noticed a rustling sound in the leaves. I looked down to see hundreds of huge red and black ants heading my way! I escaped unscathed and continued on until about 8:45 and only getting 9 miles in that day.
Day # 8 – April 23rd: I awoke just knowing I was going to put in my longest day yet. I did not realize it was going to turn out the longest day emotionally and physically as well. Most the day went well, my feet were still hurting but the pain was tollerable. It wasn’t until almost dusk when I stopped to take a break. I took off my backpack and started to lift my shirt when I realized it was stuck to my body. Unknowingly, the area on my hips where my waist belt of my back pack was chaffing had gotten effected and was leaking puss through my shirt…where it had dried and made a bond with my skin and shirt. I decided to tear my shirt away fast versus slow. The pain was so horrible that I threw up immediately after. Once that ordeal was over I could not get my wounds to stop bleeding my only option was duct tape. I continued on for another 20 minutes when out of no where I felt a pop and squish on the bottom front of my left foot and searing pain followed. I had to sit down and take a look. One of the deep blisters blew out and the air and sand that mixed in was causing horrible swelling and pain. I hobbled to the top of a peak and found I had service. That is when a conversation I had with Madison a week earlier replayed in my head. If I ever wanted a cup of coffee she new a family that would be willing to maybe take me in for a bit. She had said they lived close to the next freeway crossing I was coming up to. I quickly said a prayer that one: Madison would answer her phone and two: that those people would be willing to pick me up. Madison did pick up and the next morning a stranger named Dean went completely out of his way to pick me up.
Day 9 – April 24th: I woke up early and hiked the next nine miles to get to the highway where Dean had agreed to pick me up. He needed to go back to work so he quickly opened his house, gave me a tour and told me to call if I needed anything. I showered, rested and recuperated Later his wife Kari texted me and picked up some medical supplies for me. I am still at a loss for words. Here I was ready to quit and needing help and at a drop of a hat these two lovely people welcomed me into their home as if I was family. I stayed until about 4:30 when Dean and Kari drove around the trail detour (a portion of the PCT is currently closed because of a forest fire) to Devils Slide. I flew through the next thirty some miles powered by the kindness I was just shown.
Day # 10 – April 25th: Today I saw my first real rattle snake and took a drink from a water fountain in the middle of no where. I also hit 200 MILES!!! The last five miles to my destination I got caught in a sand storm. Winds almost blowing me over and sand blasting my sun glasses to dust. My destination for the day was a Trail Angel’s home called Ziggy and the Bear where I had my second resupply box waiting for me (Trail Angels are people who live along the trail and lend assistance to PCT hikers). I spent the night there and it poured rain all night so I was glad to be dry under an overhang.
Day #11 – April 26th: Now I climb about 7000 feet. Through a wind farm. I will be out of contact for roughly seven days due to the fact I have no way to charge my phone from this check point to the next. It is cold pretty cold, if I would have come down the mountain a day earlier I would have been hit with snow! Wish me luck and I’ll update again as soon as I can. The next stop, seven days down the trail is a Best Western where I do believe I will get a room for a night and relax 🙂
***See pictures from these adventures under the “photos” tab and see where I am on the map under the “where am I” tab!****