Monday, April 3 — day 8

PCT Mile 97.47 – 112.6

I slept very well. Sometime early morning, maybe 4am, I woke up and saw the headlamp of a hiker going by on the trail nearby. It was still dark and I was impressed because I needed more sleep. I did get up at dawn and hiked down the last few miles of this beautiful range. 

 On the way I found a friendly gopher snake.

It is the second Gopher Snake I’ve seen on this trip. I love these docile snakes!

Soon after i came across an inspirational milepost message on the side of the trail.

I was very happy to see this!  That means I’ve only got 650 miles to go!

I reached my next water spot, Barrel Springs, and stocked up on water plus washed, well, rinsed my spare socks. The trail is generally flat from here to Warner Springs. 

There are no big ridges to climb for the rest of day!  Yay, only a series of rolling hills between Barrel Springs and Warner Springs.  I passed through about five lush meadows filled with lupine and grass. The sky was clear and the temperature very pleasant. 
 A nice breeze was blowing through the meadows moving the grasses this way and that. It reminded me of the ocean.  I captured a short video of this, but unfortunately i am unable to post it here, but I did post it on my Facebook page.  Instead here’s a cool old oak tree.

​​The last meadow contained some boulders including appropriately named Eagle Rock.

Just a bit further and down a tree lined creek was the tiny town of Warner Springs. The town has an Information Center staffed by two very friendly women. The Center is very PCT Hiker welcoming providing a variety of services including real bathrooms, overnight camping area, bucket laundry, bucket bath (same bucket), power outlets, computers, books, maps, hiker foods (Snickers, oatmeal, dried maser potatos, etc) and unlimited hot and cold water (with cups)!  They also cater to non-PCT visitors with reference materials and historic artifacts.  

Being early in the PCT season, there were only two other hikers inside, even so I noticed the desktop air vaporizer emitting a steamy spray with the aroma of lilacs.  I wondered if it could win the battle when 20 or so smelly hikers are visiting.

I felt the need to bag a few more miles and so I filled up on cold water and left all this luxury but I admit I should have sprung for the bucket bath… I think from now on I will not turn one down.

I found a campsite and climbed in my bag. I had just dozed off when I was awakened by the most frightening shrieking noises coming from about 100-200 yards away. The eerie sound were loud and surprising long in duration. They sounded human-ish but there were no words. Later reasoned that this might have been a mountain loin looking for a mate.

The rest of the night was uneventful 😊

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