March 31 – day 5.  Julian – resupply, real food and a bed!

I woke up early and decided to get going before the winds pick up again.  Not sure if this dawn picture will work ( I only have my phone to view it on)

I did not see Dave, nor his footprints-  he either hiked out last night before the rain or found a hidden campsite.

I did pass other campers who were using basketball sized stones to hold their tent stakes in place!  Wow.  

The desert is starting bloom!

I hiked down to Hwy 78 with the intention of hitchhiking the 13 miles to Julian.  Some of you older readers may remember the lyrics to the song that was in my head “Hitchin’ a ride” by Vanity Fair:  “A thumb goes up, a car goes by…”.  I wonder how long it will take..,

Well, right where the trail meets the road were two motor home drivers .

“Hey, need any water?” One asked.  

“I’m good there” was my reply.  Even now sitting in Julian I still have 2 liters of water!

“Ok, How about a ride to Julian then?  We’re getting breakfast there, you can join us!”

Trail Magic!

Pretty town and PCT hiker friendly!

Real food for breakfast with my new best buddies!  I stopped in at the Visitor center to inquire about lodging options – a bath and bed would be nice!  But, I’m told Julian is all booked up Because rue Anza Borrego (lower) Desrt is in full bloom.  There is a campsite with showers 3 more miles down the road,,, Oh well,  the lady in the office was so sweet and offered to drive me there after her shift _snd_ drive me back Saturday morning before her shift.  Such nice people in this town.

I visited the post office and collected my food resupply.  The trouble is I have way too much food still!  I should be near depleted, but this is what I’m still carrying

I combined my resupply with the food I had and donated half to the hiker box in the Post Office.  I did collect a bar of soap and shampoo from the box.  There really was not much else.  It is early in the season… In a few weeks ther’ll be a lot in there!  I ran into a PCTer in town and mention there’s some good food in the hiker box.  Her reply was, “Are you kidding? I have SO much food left!”.  Seems to be a common problem.

We heard about one guy who showed up at Lake Morena (mile 20) carrying an ice axe and crampons.  While these will be helpful in the Sierras some 700 miles away, it’s rather grueling to carry them all the way there.  He gave them away, easily a $200 gift.

I went back to the Visitors Center to get dinner suggestions and she informed me that a room had become available!  Shower and laundry in town right off the main strip!  Yay!

After showering and airing my tent I noticed some of the sore spots on my feet are blisters.  I booked the room for 2 nights to let my feet rest.

What? Is it raining again?

No, it’s laundry time!  On goes the rain gear and everything else gets washed. 

I hope it all dries in time for dinner!  The owner made reservation for me “it is Friday night you know, everything will be booked solid”.  She started the laundry and decided to give it a double rinse and extra soap.  Good call.  Her dryer is broken so I’ll have to try to quickly air dry the clothes.  But, she informed me “you can show up at the restaurants in your rain gear — this is Julian after all”.😊

Ok that’s all for now.  Please feel free to comment and if you have questions I’ll answer them!

Thanks for reading!

9 thoughts on “March 31 – day 5.  Julian – resupply, real food and a bed!”

  1. Really enjoy the blog Dale! Sounds like luck and planning is paying off for you and your meeting some great people. What time are you generally stopping for the day and how long does it to set up camp and then break down the next day ? Stay well my friend and enjoy yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great questions! I’ve been stopping between 4:30 and 6:30. Setup takes only about 5 minutes (a bit longer with crazy wind). It takes longer to find a site, clear it and orient the tent head-end high if not flat. A few nights ago I spent a few minutes plucking out rocks with a tent stake. Sometimes I’ve had a sideways incline that is just awful. That means I missed the head-foot orientation. So far, generally happy.

      Breakdown today, with no meal, took about 5-10 minutes too. I try to keep everything in the pack that is not being used. I can’t afford to forget anything!


  2. Dale, good to see you are getting along well! The daily walk time and distances seems manageable and having Dave to play Hare to your Tortoise probably keeps you entertained! I do hear the flowers in the Deserts in SO Cal are awesome this spring. Did you give thought to taking a day and hitching a ride into Anza Borego to see them? We’re looking for something heavy to send to you for a care package…. Trust us, we’ll find something. haha Here’s to continued safe travels – don’t f-up on the water again.



    1. Thanks Mike! I thought about hitching down and back but decided to literally cool my heels and so am sitting on the rental porch reading “History of Julian”. The flowers in the upper desert are about to explode so I’ll look for those and sen pictures!


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