Snakes: 1 (garter snake)Tears: 1 (missing my mom while writing this)

PCT miles: 101 to 109

This morning we didn’t really want to get out of our tents, and there was no real hurry anyway, because we only had 8 miles to cover to Warner Springs, our stop for the day.

A funny moment from the day: Karma and I were talking about the bucket showers at Warner Springs and said, “you know what I realized? I could wear my buff as a skirt and then I could wash my shorts.”

Me: “I… could not wear a buff as a skirt. That would be a very stuffed buff.”

Me: “… but maybe I could wear two buffs, one on each thigh, and then safety pin them together…?”

Karma: “Oh god. That would be like a reverse thong.”

(I laughed until my belly hurt.)

The hike out was pretty uneventful to start. We were walking through big open meadows of cheat grass that was pretty gorgeous (for now.)

Eventually we reached Eagle Rock. There were about 15 day hikers standing around taking pictures. I whipped out my umbrella and was thankful for shade while we waited for a chance to take our pictures. That’s what we get for hitting a major hiking destination on a Sunday, though. I tried to stand over Mousetrap, who was laying on the ground so he could have some shade. Then Karma was eating a snack so I shaded her instead. Or I creeped on them. Whichever!

The hike out from Eagle Rock was hot. Even with my umbrella, the ground reflected the heat at us. We stopped in the shade a few times and Karma and I spent a good chunk of the hike chatting to keep our minds busy. 

Rachel cooling down by a stream

We got to Warner Springs and sat down for a few minutes before figuring out how the place worked. They gave us towels, showed us where we could get loaner clothes and told us where the bucket showers were. 

It’s funny, I’ve come to rely on Karma’s opinion for a lot of things. “Are you going to wash your clothes or shower first?” “Should we hang out inside or outside?” I think that happens out here where everything is new, we end up relying on the opinions of the people around us. We want to make sure we’re moving as a unit. 

My dad came by as our clothes were drying. My loaner clothes were ridiculous and I looked like I was in some kind of fundamentalist cult. 

My dad brought pizza, Gatorade, and fresh fruit and it was much appreciated. Anything we didn’t eat we passed off to other hikers and they were grateful. He hung out for a few hours and met a lot of the people I’ve been hiking with as well as some people I hadn’t met yet. I think he had fun with them. He said he was jealous of what I was doing and I keep trying to tell him he should try it himself. 

Now I’m in my tent. I called and caught up with Mark. It’s 9pm and I am totally exhausted. The party is still alive out there but I’m going to put in my headphones and get to bed. That’s enough socializing for one day for me. Although Karma and I are texting about being the only “old ladies” or here curled up and ready for bed.

I had a dream last night my mom was alive but dying, and we were trying to handle her dying better this time. In the dream I was crying and crying and crying. I woke up and turned over on my sleeping pad but went back to the dream. It’s hard to not want to see my mom, no matter how sad it is. Karma spent some of the hike talking about her aunt Barbara – my moms name – who was full of love and light and adventure. It made me miss my mom. I wish I could call her. I wish I could laugh with her. I try to turn my wishes into footsteps. May they take me all the way to Canada. 

Tomorrow we get our resupply boxes from the post office and start making our way toward Idyllwild.