Day 29: Hiker Heaven and Agua Dulce

May 13, 2017: Hiked Miles 454.5 to 468.2 + 1.2 back to PCT (14.9 total)

We finally got a shower last night and got to bed around 11:30. There was only one shower for everyone to share (about 50 people) and it was in an old single wide trailer. 

I have no idea how, but there was still super hot water by the time we got our turn. Even in a little cramped shower that we shared to save time, it still felt amazing. For once I felt warm when I got in my sleeping bag. 

Our tent was surrounded by about 30 others which meant listening to a lot of tossing and turning. 

But I sleep with ear plugs in and that usually drowns out the noise. Unfortunately ear plugs do not help much with dogs barking and roosters crowing which seemed to go on all throughout the night. I have never understood why a rooster would crow at all hours of the morning. You have one job! On top of all the noises, I have a new blister on one heel and a nasty callous on the other. Trying to lay on my back put so much pressure on them, I wanted to scream. I think I have officially become a trail hermit, sleeping better in the cold, dirty mountains than in civilization. Luckily, Colton finally got a good night’s sleep. He picked up some ear plugs which seemed to help. Although I’m pretty sure that guy can sleep through anything. 

I woke up at 5:30 since there were already people packing up and heading out. We layed in bed for a bit until I got out to start rounding up our stuff. Our laundry was done, so we slowly started packing up. 

We had a couple things to mail home and lucky for us, Hiker Heaven has their own certified mail service since there’s no post office in town. 

But the line was long so we waited around for at least an hour to do so. In the mean time I popped my blister and tried shaving down my callous with a pumice stone I found in the hiker box. I also had time to pet the horses, one of which walked the whole PCT last year. 

We also got serenenaded by a couple hiker musicians. 

Hiker Heaven is an amazing place with a lot of volunteers giving their time to provide us hikers with everything we need and an amazing place to relax. 

I would have loved to have stayed here for a whole day. But we didn’t really have a reason to and I do enjoy hiking so after we shipped off our package, we said goodbye and headed out.

We walked back into Agua Dulce, picked up a few groceries from the store and grabbed breakfast before heading back out on the trail.

Colton also ordered some gear that he is going to need for the Sierras since we will be there in a couple weeks. I might have forgot to mention this before, but Colton had decided to hike the whole trail with me! He was only planning on doing a month with me, but after being out here, it became pretty obvious that this is something he wants to complete. Plus he couldn’t leave in the middle of the desert before we got to all the good parts!
We finally started hiking around 11:00 and instantly regretted our breakfast choices. Our bodies are not used to large amounts of food or protein or real food for that matter. I felt super weak because my body was trying to digest this crazy amount of food it’s not used to. It’s weird to think that our bodies now thrive on things like rice, Top Ramen, slim jims, tuna, chips, bagels, candy, and granola bars and doesn’t function when it gets real food like an omelette and breakfast burrito. 

But after we walked for a bit, we started to feel better and got back into the groove of things.

On our way out of town we passed by a car junkyard which even had an airplane hull.

I would love to know what they use that for.

We made our way back into the mountains and had a pretty morning with some cool views of the valley and the mountains we had come from. 

We were on top of these far mountains on the ridgetop yesterday morning:

We finally crested the top and had a view of a beautiful lake. 

We started down the other side and were transported into a forest. 

We stopped to get water at a little spring and take a snack break aka candy break. 

We also saw another rattle snake that was sneaking down to the water for a drink.

Once he saw us he took off in the other direction. It’s probably not a good thing that I’m not scared to take pictures of them anymore. 

After our break which involved way to much sugar for not eating any real lunch, we pushed on to finish off the day. And we got another great lake view. 

Seeing a gorgeous, lake that’s soo far away when your melting in your own sweat is probably the worst form of torture. 

We made our way up what seemed like the millionth hill today and found a place on top to camp. We argued over which area was the flattest to set up our tent for a few minutes. This is pretty much a nightly occurrence and really makes no difference because once you’re laying down you can never tell if you’re on a little slope. We finally agreed on a spot and set up our tent and made dinner. We got to test out our new pots which worked great, are much lighter, convenient, and easier to clean. And they keep our food warmer much longer. 

We got in our tent while it was still light out which is always exciting and finally enjoyed some real rest and relaxation time without having to hike or do chores. I started getting heartburn which I haven’t had since being on the trail, but used to get sometimes beforehand. I’m guessing it’s either the eggs or the salsa verde from my omelette, two things I don’t eat on the trail. Guess it’s back to bagels and cliff bars for breakfast. 


7 thoughts on “Day 29: Hiker Heaven and Agua Dulce

  1. Jennifer, I’m a friend of Dan Landis and also live in Redding. Really enjoying reading about yours and Coltins PCT journey. Two summers ago myself and a few friends hiked the northern section of the JMT from Muir Ranch (Florence Lake) into Yosemite Valley. It is a beautiful section that I know you’ll enjoy (although going into Yosemite Valley is like walking into a Disneyland atmosphere after the less traveled trail). Godspeed on your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. BTW, when you leave Tuolumne Meadows hiking towards Yosemite Valley, there is a big burned out area starting about 60% of the way to the Half Dome Junction until about a mile or so to the junction. We were there in late July in a drier year, but there was about a 5-6 mile stretch without any filterable water source.

    Liked by 1 person

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