Day 100 (10/11/10)
: We have lunch with Jason, Cassandra, Giraffe, and Heidi in Mojave, then hit the trail at 2pm. We slack pack 8 miles then hike another 3 miles among giant wind turbines. We camp near the base of one and stare at it towering above us as we lay in our sleeping bags. Good thing it isn't a windy night! Day 101
: The four of us get going at 6:45am and leave that time stamp in the sand so Giraffe would know where we camped and how far behind he is from us. When we take our 1st lunch break at 11am, he catches up to us and we continue hiking together. Water is rare these days, but today we are able to refill at one of the few trickling creeks still running in the desert. By 2pm, we see Heidi jogging up the trail to meet us; our party of six hikes among the old wind turbine graveyard until we reach the road where Heidi left her van.
We all huddle in the shade of the van, eating and waiting for the day to cool down a little before hiking on. By 5:30pm, the temperature is nicer and the four of us make another 6 miles, dropping us down 3,000 ft to the desert floor. It's nice to walk in the dark and look up at the billions of stars shining above us. Another nice, warm night. Day 102
: Today, we hike along the California Aquaduct and find ourselves in a construction zone dodging bulldozers and water trucks. After 10 miles, we make a water stop at Hiker Town. It would have been fun to stay at this Western style Hollywood set hostel, but the timing isn't right -- we have 15 more miles to walk before we can retire for the night.
We cover a few miles and get to the road crossing where find Heidi again. The day is hot, so we hang out in the shade of her van until late afternoon. We hope we aren't getting too used to being welcomed by Heidi's smiling face! We eventually force ourselves to continue on. When the temperature cools, the evening becomes really pleasant and we enjoy the views in the fading light. We finish our last couple miles under the moonlight and get to see a few shooting stars before falling asleep. Day 103
: It's another hot day, but we try not to make as many stops because we have a date with the Anderson's tonight. Jason, Cassandra, and we make it to Green Valley at dusk. Joe picks us up at the trailhead and brings us to "Casa de Luna," where we meet Terrie wearing a halo over her head. Right off the bat, we feel welcome at their home and we all have a great time listening to their animated stories. Joe and Terrie offer both dinner and entertainment when you visit! We quickly realize that there are two types of PCT hikers: those who stopped at the Anderson's and those who wish they had. We are happy to be included in the former. The Anderson's are good people with big hearts and really love us hikers. Awesome evening. Day 104
: We have breakfast, sign the PCT 2010 banner and get started on the trail a little later than planned...but oh well, what's an extra hour when in good company? The day is the hottest yet and we consume a lot of water. When we get to the "Oasis Cache," we find a nice, shady spot trimmed into the bushes with camping chairs, water and a cooler full of sodas. This cache is maintained by the Anderson's and it made us smile to feel as though we were in their company again. Actually, the day's harsh hike in the heat didn't feel that bad because we kept thinking about the great time we had the previous night.
We are also in good spirits because of the fun little notes Heidi has been leaving us along the trail. We walk, talk, and laugh our way to the next water cache where we decide to have lunch. We are a little sad not to find Heidi and Giraffe parked along the road this time, but are happily surprised to see the Anderson's pull up. They bring us fresh water and ICE! Ooooh, cold water tastes so good. After lunch, we bid them farewell and try to move as quickly as we can through the heat. We want to try to get off the trail before it gets too dark today.
We manage to get to Agua Dulce at dusk and just as we are about to head to the Saufley's, a man pulls up to us in his car and asks if we are PCT hikers. We say yes and he responds by asking the four of us to head over to the cafe so he can buy all of us dinner! Scotty makes sure we have plenty to eat before letting us continue on our way. We thank him, take some pictures together, then walk the last mile to the Saufley's. We find Heidi and Giraffe there and chat for a little bit before Donna Saufley come out to greet us. It's almost "hiker midnight," so she shows us our accomodations and wishes us good night. What hospitality!
We are now in Agua Dulce, CA. In the past 5 days we got to hike with some of our fellow PCT hikers (Jason/Cassandra, Giraffe/Heidi) and got to visit two amazing trail angels (The Andersons and the Saufleys). This desert section would be really challenging if it wasn't for the many water caches maintained by trail angels. We have now less than 450 miles to go to the Mexican Border and our spirits are high. We should be done hiking the PCT in less than 3 weeks.