Monday, April 14, 2014

Eagle Rock and Trail Angels - Day 9 (4/13/2014)

Day 9
Mile 100.1 to mile 109.5
9.4 miles

We had a much better night in the tent last night. The wind had calmed down and we had good cover to block what wind there was. 

We both woke up pretty sore from the previous day's hiking and we knew we did not have many miles to cover today to get to Warner Springs so we took our time getting up and ready.  Mandie had a poptart for breakfast and I had a handful of dried mangoes because that is all we had left, or so I thought. 

It was 7:45 am by the time our feet hit the trail, late by hiker standards. We covered the 1.1 miles to Barrel Springs where we stopped to fill our water bladders from a trough. As we were sitting on a log trying to get warm on this cold morning Mandie suggested that we make the last of the beans we had. I totally forgot we had some beans. That made my morning. We cooked up the beans and made a very weak cup of coffee. Yes, coffee and beans, we like to live dangerously.

After second breakfast we packed up our things and headed off, crossing Montezuma Valley Road. We weaved in and out of some low foothills steadily climbing as we went. There were lots of Stink Bugs, of all sizes, lining the trail munching on small plants. When we reached the top we could see a large meadows spanning across the horizon. This is what I have been waiting for, a break from the mountains and desert. 

The meadows were dotted with beautiful yellow, orange, and purple flowers. None of which we know the names of except for our state flower, the California Poppy (Eschscholtzia Californica). We picked as many of those as we could and made a beautiful bouquet. I'm kidding. 

We finally made it to Eagle Rock, a natural rock formation that looks exactly like an Eagle with its wings spread. There was a group of day hikers there already taking pictures so we waited until it was our turn. While we waited we chatted with another couple who are hiking the PCT, Mighty Mouse and Tom Cat. A super nice couple that we hope to see us again. They gave us some good advice, to slow down and cut our miles back, which i think we will listen too. I'm sure it was easy to see on our faces how tired, hungry, and in pain we were. Thank you for the advice!

After taking pictures of each other posing silly with the rock we donned our packs and headed off to do another 3.2 miles  to Warner Springs.  

At sometime during the day we decided that we needed to take a zero and rest our bodies. A zero is when you have a full day without hiking. In our case it would be three days and two nights at a hotel in Temecula. I texted my friend Robert and asked if he could come pick us up and take us into town. The stars aligned for Mandie and I and he agreed to pick us up. (Robert and Kathy, I know I have already thanked you for being our Trail Angels for the day but I  want to thank you again. We needed some help and you came to the rescue. Thank you! Hi Clarisse.)

Outback Steakhouse, Temecula
At 2 pm our chariot arrived and swooped us away. As we drove along the windy road we got a chance to catch up on things and the happenings of the world. We have only been on the trail for a week but it seems like so much longer. 

As a thank you Mandie and I treated our Trail Angels to dinner at Outback Steakhouse. Mandie and i went to Outback far too often after our weekend hikes so it was something that we were really craving. It was delicious and we finally had full bellies. After dinner we were dropped off at a Holiday Inn Express where we swiftly checked in and hit the showers. Oh it feels good to be clean and in a bed. 

Tomorrow we plan on doing a whole lot of nothing so our bodies can recuperate.