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City: Rancho Palos Verdes
Begins: May 9, 2009
Entry Visits: 1,113
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First thing I did when I woke up was check the phone battery and it showed no bars and a red box. Not good since it appears the solar charger is defunct. So much for the no charger needed plan.
I was a little slow getting going so was not on the trail until 6:50 but it didn't matter too much because I only had about eight miles to Warner Springs where I was planning on a long relaxing day at the natural spa, get my resupply and then get a few miles in after the sun abates.
After just a few miles I came upon Eagle Rock which was one of the landmarks I definitely wanted to see and get a picture or two. So I tried to turn on the phone and the camera and lo and behold as you can see it worked and here is Eagle Rock. I find it amazing how all the forces of nature that created this great landscape I am experiencing almost every moment can all conspire to give us such an inspirational rock formation. It was well worth the short side trip to see it.
Other than a king snake sighting it was plain sailing into Warner Springs where I picked up my resupply for the next three days. There were four of us that arrived at the Warner Springs Lodge at about the same time and we all had a similar plan hoping that there was some sort of day rate. It turned out they did and it was a hiker special day pass that was very reasonable for use of all their facilities. First priority was a shower and second was laundry and third the phone. Luckily one of the hikers had "bounced" his phone charger to Warner Springs and he lent me it to get my phone back in action. This was the same hiker whose sunglasses I found and brought down to Julian two days earlier. It continues to amaze me these ironic coincidences. I also got to call home for my charger to be dispatched to Idyllwild.
After that it was R&R in the spa. They had two large pools - one a conventional swimming pool and the other a mineral pool fed from a hot spring on the hill at the back of the spa. As long as you could get past the hydrogen sulfide (rotting eggs) smell, it was very relaxing despite the hot day. It was great to feel so clean again. Then we all had lunch at the golf club restaurant. Overall very relaxing and, even if I say it myself, a well deserved rest.
We had chatted to a guest who turned out lived in Torrance, Ca, the city adjacent to where I live and he also was a retired aerospace engineer. When he realized we needed a ride to the trailhead he was eager to help us out.
Started off about 4:45 and did the loop around Warner Springs to the second crossing of highway 79 pretty quickly. After that for the next mile or so the trail went in and out of numerous sandy washes. These were hard work - just like walking through the soft sand above the tide line on the beach except with 40 lbs on your back. After that it was a steep climb that was hard but nevertheless welcome as getting a couple thousand feet higher was going to feel quite a bit cooler. The trail went through Lost Valley with the Aqua Caliente Creek running through it. The creek was running well but I did not need water yet. It was quite spectacular in Lost Valley and very easy to understand why it was so named. I am guessing I got in about seven miles before spotting a reasonable camping spot next to the trail and as it was getting dark I called a day.
Mad Dogs & Englishmen
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org
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