Date: 13 Apr 2018 08:33PM PDT
Location: Camping at Mike's Place
Today's Miles: 17.4
Total Miles: 126.9
Didn't set an alarm this morning, wanted to get as much rest as I could after pushing thirty yesterday. It's not that it was a dumb idea or anything, but it's good to make sure you take care of yourself early in a long hike.
Last night proved to be interesting. Slept away from the herd of hikers on the other side of a field. Unbeknownst to me when I set up my tent, there were sprinklers on that side of the property. Said sprinklers went off at midnight exactly.
Another hiker who was sleeping close by ended up doing something incredibly heroic: dashing about putting metal trash cans that were close by over all the sprinklers. The sprinklers proceeded to drum loudly for the next twenty minutes or so inside the cans, but at least I didn't have to move my tent or get soaked past the first spritz or two that managed to fly into my tent.
Found out later that morning that he got soaked in the process, as well as his sleeping bag since he didn't have a rain fly on his tent.
Ended up sleeping until around 0800. Took me a few minutes to calm my nerves and come to terms with not being up earlier and on trail. Sometimes not making forward progress out here really sets me on edge.
Packed up, walked on over to the community center. Returned my loaner clothes, said some goodbyes, walked down the shortcut path to the town of Warner Springs.
Ended up having breakfast at the golf course's restaurant. Quaint little place with only two employees, and while it took much longer than expected for food it was a nice little spot to rest with good views out over the golf course.
Next walked over to the post office and grabbed my resupply box. Set for the next hundred and fifty miles or so, with light supplementation in between.
Managed to get back on trail around 1100 and hiked pretty much straight through the rest of the day without stopping for food, grabbing water on the go. One of my favorite things about hiking out west is watching the scenery change as I walk, and today was a great transition from the plains and lowlands up to bouldery and rocky high desert.
Stopped for water around 1730 at a water tank, whereupon I noticed in the guidebook a place just down the way called "Mike's Place". There's this saying out on trail that you should "Never say no to an offer of generosity", and tonight was one of those nights.
The owner of the property and water tanks "Mike" wasn't in, but allows hikers to camp on his property. His caretaker made the fifteen or so of us hikers pizza in a wood fired outdoor oven, a great kindness that we repaid by providing donations for the food and water.
Sat around chatting and getting to know some of the other hikers as the sun went down. It's a great experience when everyone manages to relax and just be themselves.