Day 28: Down to Town

May 12, 2017: Hiked Miles 430.4 to 454.5 + 1.2 to Hiker Heaven (25.3)

Started off to another cold morning in the mountains, but it instantly warmed up when we started hiking. I went to bed late last night, catching up on blogging and woke up way early after tossing and turning all night so I expected to have a rough morning. But between the crisp mountain air, the coffee, and the views of the new valley below, I felt like Mighty Mouse and was doing all I could to not run down the hill. We switchbacked all morning, slowly getting closer and closer to all the little houses in the valley below. 

We had to be very careful because there was tons of poodle dog brush and poison oak along the trail. We stopped at a ranger station to fill up on water and kept going. I think going down hill is even more exhausting than going up because you can always see where your trail leads and usually it’s far away. But we had a nice breeze and we made fast time getting down. My knees are finally starting to feel better which helps me go a little faster. We passed by a view of an old fire that seemed to go on forever. 

After 13 miles we finally hit the valley floor. We made our way to the KOA, which is pretty close to the trail and is known to be very hiker friendly. 

I really wish I could have spent the night in the teepee.

Walking by this pool was torture.  

We picked up a few packages that we had shipped here: food resupply, our new cooking pots, and my original insoles for my shoes, since my arches have been killing me and I think it could be due to my arch supports (hopefully). There was also a gift for Colton inside the package with my insoles:

Definitely a thoughtful gift.

We ate lunch, added all our food to our food bags, which are now way over full since we’re hiking much faster than expected, and got back on the trail. We still had ten miles to go until Agua Dulce, our stopping point for the night, and we had just hit the hottest part of the day, so we knew we had our work cut out for us.  

Luckily we had a strong breeze and the hot desert afternoon turned out to be one of the most enjoyable days on the trail so far. When we’re not talking or out of breath from climbing, I spend a lot of time thinking about numbers. How far is it to our next water source? How many more meals do we have? If we hike this many miles, when will we be to our next resupply? Are we hiking fast enough to make it to camp tonight? What do we need to ship ahead? What do we need to buy? The list goes on and on. But for once, I finally turned my brain off. I stopped planning. I stopped thinking about what hurt. I just soaked in every ounce of my surroundings, the lack of human noise, the wind, the grass on my legs, the strength of my body, the gratefulness I have to be here, the happiness nature brings me. It’s amazing how our thoughts can affect how we feel. I focused on all the great parts of being out here and didn’t let any pains affect me. We both hiked quietly in our own type of meditation without another soul in sight. 

And then we crested a hill and were met with a view of a freeway and houses, suddenly not alone anymore.

We took a break to soak in the view and all the noise. But we were antsy to get to town and still had six miles to go, so we kept on.

Eventually we approached a tunnel that went under the freeway. 

And saw an interesting set of statues.

We went through the tunnel which was nice and cool. If I had been able to see inside and it hadn’t had a stream running through it, I probably would have hung out there for a bit. 

We came out on the other side to a whole new world. 

We were in a lush canyon, surrounded by amazing rock formations. 

We hiked through the canyon until we ended up above the beautiful rocks and had a great view to look back on.

Our feet were dead but we still had a couple miles into town. At last, we finally arrived. 

We found the first restaurant we could. Which wasn’t hard since there are only four in the whole town, all within a couple hundred feet of each other. There’s not much better than cold beer and a huge burger after an exhausting day of hiking. 

Colton scarfed his food down and I savored every bite as slowly as I could until he got antsy and started eating my fries. We ultimately had to pry ourselves out of the restaurant, stuffed and exhausted.

We picked up some candy, because we knew we would be hungry again shortly. Then we walked one more mile to Hiker Heaven, where we would be spending the night. It’s basically a whole few acres outside of someone’s house that has been converted into a hiker mecca. There are trailers to sleep in, room to pitch tents, laundry, mail, showers, tv, internet, and a million hikers there. We got here late and quickly got a tour and pitched our tent before it got too dark, so I’ll have to take pictures tomorrow. We put our name on the shower list (which two hours later we are now second in line for), started our laundry and saw quite a few familiar faces we hadn’t seen in some time. It’s 10:30 and we still need a shower and it’s past our bedtime so it might be a late morning tomorrow. Or a whole pot of coffee type of morning.


8 thoughts on “Day 28: Down to Town

  1. Jenn!
    I’m so proud and excited for you!
    Please tell me how I can send a package and where to ( if you don’t have a package and want one sent to a specific spot and when and where, etc
    Please also list items you and Colton want and need
    Love ya! Kjerstin
    You can text me 530.209.3145 when you have service or email me or write it here ❤️


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