Day 34 – Easin back in

May 7, 2016

Mile 456.6 to Leona Divide Fire Road (mile 469.3)

Miles: 12.7

Laurie woke up anxious this morning. Something about heading back to the trail is unsettling to her.

Perhaps it is change, or leaving the comforts and safety of home for the unknown trail life. She loves being on the trail but quickly becomes accustomed to having a shower and bed at her disposal.

At 9:30am Andy’s friend Tony picked us up and we went somewhere very familiar.

We had forgotten to go to REI on our zero day yesterday to address the sternum strap issue Andy has been having for the past week, so we decided to go today before we hit the trail.

While there, Andy tried on 4 other packs and ended up walking out with the same model as it was the most comfortable for him. It was reassuring to know that he was using the best pack we could find-at least for now.

Around 1pm Tony dropped us off at mile 456.6, where the PCT intersects Petersen Road. We didn’t want to road walk through Agua Dulce and the twisty Agua Dulce Canyon Road to get back onto the trail, so we skipped it.

We don’t mind walking reroutes on other trails and fire roads, but we don’t feel comfortable or safe walking on narrow canyon roads with blind corners.

It felt good to be back on the trail again. Our packs were heavy but our bodies felt good. We had a 2,000 foot climb right out of the gate.

The dark clouds gathered during the climb, the wind picked up and the temperature dropped, but thankfully no rain.

We enjoyed the gradual climb with our heavy packs. Six days of food on this leg. And per usual, we left Andy’s parent’s home with leftovers, which are incredibly delicious but very heavy!

After we crested the mountain we descended to Bouquet Canyon Road. Across the road we came upon our first trail magic of the hike. Thank you to whomever left water, mandarins and cuties under an oak tree. What a great treat!

Refreshed by citrus fruit we climbed yet again. We decided to camp early and ease back into our hike.

Mile 468.2 was where we decided to stop. There are a few flat spots near power lines. We could stretch, Andy thought. And blog. And go to bed early…

“Rats.” Andy remarked 50 ft before we got to the campsites.

“I see tents” said Laurie.

“Yeah” Andy replied on a disappointed tone.

Three people were already set up there with little to no room for more people. 

So we kept walking.

Andy expressed a few minutes later that during the day all of the other hikers feel like comrades, but in the evening, when we start to get closer to camp, they feel like competition.

It’s really amazing the stories and scenarios the mind creates. Scarcity doesn’t exist out here. There’s enough trail and enough campsites for everyone. We just need to continue reminding ourselves of this fact.

Just over one mile later, Andy saw a use trail and decided to see where it led.

A turnout on a dirt road is where.

And this is where we are calling home tonight. Slightly slanted but not overly so.

We enjoyed eating the remainder of the leftovers inside our tent, watching the clouds drift north, hiding the new moon now and again. It’s almost 10pm now. Time for bed!

Tonight we are grateful for loyal friends and beautiful sunsets.

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Wild cucumbers line the trail

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