Day 34 – Casa De Luna!

Slept in a little.   Heard a couple of hikers walk by in the morning which finally got me moving.   Back on the trail around 7:30am.  

Last Night’s Spot

I ran into Hot Diggity (Gal from UK) a few minutes later at Bear Spring.   There was some water dribbling out of a plastic pipe stuck into the hillside and we all were filling up.  

HD and I hiked for about 10 miles.   She is/was a property manager in London.   Now she wants to change it up.   Now she’s thinking about joining the “Territorial Army” (UK’s equivalent to the National Guard I think).  

She had some interesting stories about the class structure there.   One interesting bit was about a family who was somewhat wealthy and titled somehow in the social hierarchy.   They blew 8 million pounds putting their 3 kids through a privileged private school….and wound up going bankrupt.    One kid went on to be a physicist.   Other two…well not so much.  At least they know how to act rich 🙂  

HD’s BF will be coming out soon and they plan to take a week off, then hike together for 3 weeks.   She trained for months to get ready, hiking through London to work carrying a 30 pound pack to get in shape.   His training was playing soccer.    Will be interesting to see those two on the trail.

We split at lunch.   She stopped and I wanted more miles.   Been debating whether to stop at Casa De Luna.   Most do.   There is a free PCT bandana in it.    

Hmm, boring

This is the spot Darrel and I last rode motorcycles together on.  

Crossing 471
More Boring
This guy was beat by the Ugly Stick

I got to the Green Valley fire station (mile 478).   This is also the exit for Casa De Luna.   I filled up the water bottles and seriously considered moving on…but….I really want that bandana.   Just 15 miles today.  Thumb went out and got a ride within 5 minutes.  

So now we enter the world of Casa De Luna.    The Anderson’s have been hosting hikers for 18 years.   Their front yard is filled with hiker trash lounging around in plastic chairs, some old couches and coolers.   One  group is painting rocks, another their finger/toenails, the rest are lounging with beers and weed.  Bathrooms are 4 porta potties.   Shower is a hose over a 3 sided wooden wall.  

The coolest part was a dense manzanita forest in their back 5 or so acres.   there are pathways cut through that lead to small tent sites all over.    Lots of painted rocks scattered throughout the forest. Here are a few I saw on my way back to setup my tent.

I setup next to this gal

Bought some beer to share and sat down in the middle of the hiker trash for the evening.   30+ hikers here.   Spent a lot of time chatting with Joe Dirt (Geologist graduate).   Cat girl was there.   She is still carrying her kitten.   Funniest name was a gal named “Trash Panda”.   Supposedly in reference to her acting like a raccoon in the hiker boxes.    Apparently she has no shame when it comes to free stuff, even if the package has been half-eaten.    

Feeding time was 6AM.   It is a plate of tortilla chips, vats of beans and melted cheese, and huge bowls of onions, shredded lettuce, and cut jalapenos.  

Teri Anderson came out to announce the rules.   Hold your plate below the table while loading up or get spanked by the yardstick she’s holding.   After dinner, you have to come up individually or small groups and dance for your bandanna.   I asked if there are any other ways to get spanked.  That comment puts me on the list for the first dancer….hmm.

The Feeding Frenzy

After folks finished, Teri and her entourage walk out on the porch / dance floor.   Teri has a stack of bandanna’s and is dancing around on the stage while one of the gals cycles through songs from various Genres.    Given our earlier disobedience, Manny Pack and I are singled out kick it off.  Manny snags his bandana.   Teri snatches mine and tucks it napkin style outside her sweater.    I bite it off with a goofy look on my face.   Turns out there is another reason to get slapped by the yardstick. 

After that little display of stupid, people seemed to loosen up.  I found a seat far away with a beer and watched the next hour as folks did their best to get their bandana.  

It seems that a hiker name for me is getting sticky.   Folks have been calling me “Salty J” for days now.   The unwashed boonie hat is an easy trigger.   So after 400 miles, SALTY J it is.  

Stayed up to 10 then stumbled back to the forest trying to find my tent when my iphone flashlight died.   I wondered around for a while until someone with a headlamp helped me out.  

Here are a couple pics of the sign-in sheets.    

Hiker Art
Get it Kurt

Lot of folks are zeroing here tomorrow.   My plan is to get out early.    




Day 33 – Back To The Trail

This next segment will be in the low hills next to the Bouquet Reservoir and the strangely named “Green Valley”.    Weather over the next few days will be 90+, so night hiking is on the agenda.   

Alice dropped me at Agua Dulce around 7pm. 

Hit the Trail. John

No hikers around.   This was going to be a solo walk.   Figured I’d get 8 miles or so in and try to camp before 12.

The “trail” through the remainder of Agua Dulce continued to be road walking.   Pretty boring.    Only notable was watching some guy take off in a helicopter from his backyard.   

Heading out for milk?

Finally got off the hardball on to a dirt road which eventually turned into a trail.   Found a big junkyard.   It seems lots of folks with land in the desert like to park old cars and, in this case, also an airliner fuselage.  

Getting Closer To the Trail


Ahh, the Nature

That was the end of the light.    I put on the headphones and head lamp.   The night hike was fun.   Lots of little critters on the trail.   Their eyes were glowing in the light.    Turns out most of them are little kangaroo mice + an occasional possum.   The highlight of the night was a damn skunk wandering down the trail.   That one stopped me for a while until he cleared out. 

Passed some tents at 2 different campsites.   Wind was coming up.   I took a few compass readings to figure out the direction.   Those campsites were exposed so I kept on.   Eventually,  I got below a ridge in some Manzanita trees and setup just before 12.    Did about 8 trail miles.   I’ll start tomorrow at 462.  


Day 32 – Zeroed in Oxnard

Cleaned my nasty sleeping bag which seems to take 2 days to dry.   That is such a hassle.   Got resupplied and re hydrated.   Interesting all day I was drinking and eating and drinking and drinking.   I have to be careful about this in the future.   I need a lot of water on the trail and I need to stop cutting that short.  

Birthday party with Francine at a lot of pizza and talked about pooing in the woods.   That seems to be the first question everyone wants to talk about, lol. 

Showed off my hat which I haven’t washed for 3 weeks.   It has a pound of sweat-salt on the rim.   Yumm.

Plan is to hit the trail late tomorrow and do some serious night hiking.     

Day 31 – Wifey!!!!

Packed and scooted early.   Can’t wait to see my wife!

I think a lot of these tents have hungover hikers

There was a small hot climb then down to a valley that crossed under the 14.   This portion of the trail enters Vasquez Rocks park.   Turns out that this is pretty neat place.   I’ve seen it from the highway for years, but never stopped here.   I need to go back some time with Alice.

And Down

There is a drainage tunnel under the 14 that we cross through.   It was long, dark, wet and full of horse shit.   But… was soooo cool.    Every hiker came through here and sat down in the muck to get out of the heat.   Met up with Wing It again and we talked about this.   Our families would never understand how wonderful this is….sitting next to a pile of horse manure.  

Anyway, after cooling down we headed out together again.  Got some cool pictures of Vasquez Rocks area as we climbed up.

I think Jesus could do a little better than this

And out of the park

The last 1.5 miles looked like this on the map:

When you see straight lines like this, it can be certain we’ll be walking on the highway.   That sucked, but the bar at the end of the line didn’t !    Burgers, smoothies, 3 jars of water later I was pretty happy.   Meanwhile Alice was driving around trying to find me. 

I was sitting on the porch of the grill half-asleep with some other hikers when I saw this red truck drive by with my wife at the wheel.   I called her and waited while she passed by the other direction yet again, then finally she figured out where to park.   OMG.   The hikers I was with got a little laugh out of it all.  

But it was a happy ending!   Time to go home for a couple days !


Day 30 – Acton

Woke up early and packed.   Dexter was still in her tent getting ready, so I took off.    Nice to be beating someone to the trail 🙂    Blasted lower and lower.   It got hotter and hotter.

I was down to 1 litter of water when I passed a small running stream at 431.    I only added another liter thinking I’d find more….but that was not to be.   All the other streams were dead.  

Made it to a fire station and fortunately they were angeling some water and sodas.    A lot of us stayed there through 2 drinking, eating and sleeping.   Including myself. 

Didn’t realize it, but my water deficit was building up from yesterday.   I’ve been trying to hike with less water to reduce weight.   It was starting to snowball on me though. 

Got back on the trail around 2:30.   Just another 6 miles to go to Acton KOA.

If you look in the distance, Flame is standing on that rise.

Hotter and more exposed sun.   I think it was close to 95 while I was hiking this bit.

That green spot is where I’d like to go
But this is where the PCT says I’m supposed to go

This part sucked.   4 miles of switchbacks.   Ups and downs over crappy scenery when I can see shade and water below at every turn.   Talked to some others later and we all thought the same thing.   This was torture. 

Finally made it to the campground around 5.   That makes 19 miles today (mile 444).   Guzzled two 12 ounce cans of some kind of juice while waiting to pay for them at the mini-mart.   Almost passed out waiting in line.   Then it was two microwave cheeseburgers, a couple of rainbow popsicles, and bottle of gatoraid.

The campsite was hiker crazy.   Here is a pic

Hiker Madness

Ran into a bunch of folks here who were all sharing beers.   Then I saw this dude walking around with a cooler who looked familiar (not a hiker).   Wasn’t sure, so I followed him to the office and discovered it was Alex, a guy I with whom I ride off-road motorcycles.   

He was hauling some beers as well.   Had been following my dot and saw I was pretty close to his house so he bounced down to say hi.    It was great seeing him!    Wish I had a picture.   Here is Alex with his sister (who is also a good rider).  

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, indoor

Anyway, Alex got to chat with some of my hiker friends and feed his desire to hike the PCT some day.   Go Alex !

Got a shower, did some laundry.    Only 8 miles to Agua Dulce tomorrow and I get to go home with Alice for a few days !!!!!!!!