5/25/17 – Hiker Heaven
Miles: 444 to 454
Today turned out to be one of my favorite days on trail. The sun remained behind clouds most of the morning and for once we nearly felt cold while walking, so our pace was brisk, even on the uphill.
The miles went by, we were on a great track to complete our first 10 by 10 (ten miles hiked by ten in the morning) but then the trail threw Vasquez Rocks in our way and what a treat it was. The picturesque natural area stopped us in our tracks and once my big camera was out, we were not going anywhere fast. Luckily our destination for today was only 2.5 miles away at that point and we could take our sweet time enjoying this fabulous place.
Aqua Dulce where we finished our hike today is a small community in Los Angeles county. There is a store and couple of restaurants there, and Hiker Heaven, refuge for PCT hikers provided by Jeff and Donna Saufley. They are amazing people who host up to 50 hikers a night, provide laundry and showers, and package holding. Their house is about a mile from the trail so every hour they send a shuttle truck to pick up newcomers at the grocery store by which the trail runs. Really it’s unbelievable how far so people go to help dirty stinky hikers. The experience would not be same without them and we could not thank them more for the hospitality.
After a rather expensive resupply at the local grocery store, our afternoon turned to a chill fest, sipping on wine and socializing with fellow hikers. What else can one wish for before entering the dry and hot Mojave desert? (except maybe some cloudy, rainy day in the forecast for next 120 miles or so).