We packed up camp in record time, 30 mins (not too fast) and were up walking by 5:30am. Up and out of Warner Springs Valley the landscape changed drastically. Manzanita in full bloom dripping with flowers to boulder fields and misty valleys.
Climbing all morning meant great views but no water until lunch time. We pasted fellow Australian hiker ‘convict’ who we met at Warner Springs. She is hiking with Tamika, but Convict’s knee was giving her grief and she was moving slowly up the trail.
22km up the trail we arrived at ‘Mike’s Place’ a trail angel who lives on the actual trail. He provides a tank water for hikers but we also stopped in at his house for a beer and a place to chill for lunch. His yard was full of collections of scrap metal, cars and outdoor cooking stations like bbqs and a wood fire oven. We got a strange vibe from Mikes Place. Mike wasn’t there himself but the place felt eerie and seedy and usually I (Harriet/Pine Cone) love a good yard hoarder. We met Tamika there and waited for Convict to arrive. She is talking about pulling out of the hike so we invite Tamika to hike with us, at least till Idyllwild. She is funny and matter of fact, I like her!
The last five miles brought new views of the next valley over and San Jacinto on the horizon. Clad in snow and cloud it marks our destination in two days time and we are excited to hear that folk have been crossing it with just micro-spikes and walking poles! We are definitely going to try our luck with the snow.
We also got a fantastic view east to the Salton Sea which is a landscape I know and love and it makes me excited for the deserts still to come! Good night, more tales tomorrow!