Day 26 mile 387.7 – 404.2

Elevation: ascent 2,782 ft, descent 4,549 ft

What a great tent site we had last night! We could hear the wind blowing up over the ridge we were on but the trees sheltered us as the tent hardly moved. We didn’t set an alarm thinking we would sleep in but the sun woke us at about 6:00. We were so glad it did because we were treated to an incredible sunrise. We had a plan of either hiking 16.5 miles or 19, figured the day and our bodies would decide which was the right choice for the day. So we weren’t in a huge hurry to get out of camp and decided to enjoy our coffee as we gazed over the desert below. We also took this opportunity to work on blog stuff. We had very intermittent cell service as we tried to upload pics this morning. We would go from one bar of LTE to one bar of 4G and then to no service in a matter of seconds and without moving. Super frustrating! So after an hour of this and not getting it all done we set off for the day hoping we might get some better service later.

We passed the junction for Mt Williamson (which we decided not to do as it would add 2 miles to our day), and started our descent down into the Angeles Forest. We were still encountering snow but it was patchy and not to difficult to navigate. Then one of the most AMAZING things happened!! We ran into a day hiker, Janelle, who was hiking up toward us and she proclaimed “you are thru hikers, okay let’s go I have some Trail Magic at my car for you”. I would have loved to see Double Down’s and my face because our jaws must have dropped. We were back at her car in 15 minutes, when she pulled out a big grocery bag. I think my mouth started to water instantly. Oh but wait, she then grabbed two coolers, a large table to put things on and grabbed two chairs for Double Down and I to sit in. Out of the coolers she pulled sliced pineapple, oranges, strawberries, bread, meat, lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, mustard/mayo, cheese, gummy bears, Pringle’s, home made brownies and muffins. OMG, we couldn’t believe what we were seeing. How lucky could we be to meet this amazing woman out here to just help hikers out of the goodness of her heart.

While sitting there for an hour I was able to consume: half a sandwich, two brownies, Pringles, breakfast casserole, fruit, a muffin and washed it down with a beer (at 9:30 in the morning). That food and beer never tasted so GOOD!! Janelle even talked us into talking food and a beer to go. We couldn’t thank her enough as we headed back to the trail with full bellies.

Today was definitely warmer out as we descended to lower elevations. One thing that we find very annoying as the temps rise are these little tiny black flies that like to hover right in front of your face while you hike. It gets bad when you are walking up hill using your poles and breathing hard as about 6-8 will congregate in front of you with a few dive bombing into your mouth as you are breathing hard. Double Down wants someone to come up with a solar fan that clips on the hat brim which can be used to blow them away. So if you’re bored at home this could be something to kill some time 🤣.

At about 12:30 we came across a beautiful stream and knew it was time for lunch. We even took the opportunity to get in and clean up a bit since the sweat factor was high today. Then the trail magic we brought with us came out and we enjoyed the other half of our sandwiches and even the beer I carried the past 6 miles. Double Down even grabbed a couple sips of that, and if you know her that doesn’t happen all that often.

After another long break (an hour for lunch) we had to cross the river we were having lunch at. So true to my trail name I tried to use logs to build a bridge, unsuccessfully. We ended up having to use a tree that was five feet above the creek and only about 12 inches in diameter. A little shaky but obviously we made it 😁. The trail then continued to mostly descend in elevation which meant temps kept rising. We crossed Hwy 2, 4 times during the day making sure to get across before the speeding cars/motorcycles came whizzing by. At one of the highway crossings we ran into two girls out for a day hike. They hadn’t heard about the PCT before and became very interested in our journey. So we stood there and chatted for about 20 minutes giving them lots of details and answering their questions. We might have even gotten two new blog followers as we gave them this site to read more about our adventure.

Late in the afternoon we passed the 400 mile mark of the trail. We then grabbed 4 liters of water for dinner and coffees tomorrow. Then it was just 1.5 miles to camp. Well that is when we ran into another day hiker and he wanted to chat with us. So we talked to him for about 20 minutes before moving on to camp.

Our tent site was nice and flat but not much shade so putting on wool sleep clothes didn’t feel the best. We had our dinner of dehydrated chicken in a Knorr side (garlic pesto sauce with pasta). We also were finally able to finish off the bag of Fritos and our milk duds melted with hot tamales. I know that doesn’t sound like a good combo but it’s pretty damn good 🤣. Right before crashing for the night a South Bound hiker (Iceman) came by and joined us. First time we have had a thru hiker camp with us since Big Bear. We had fun chatting with him and exchanging trail info before hiker midnight was upon us, 9:00.

Quite the day and with warmer temps we should be sleeping well. Double Down isn’t even wearing one jacket to sleep in tonight. Thanks for following along. Link