After gloriously sleeping in until, like, 7AM, we did the last 8.3 miles to Warner Springs. The hike into town was beautiful—the trail passed through fields full of freakin’ amber waves of grain (or at least this awful goat’s head grass that hooks itself into everything but looks pretty from a distance), dotted with black-and-white-spotted cows. About halfway to town there’s an outcropping of rocks that, from one angle, looks like a giant eagle with raised wings. Obviously we stopped for pictures.
We walked to the Warner Springs Post Office, where the postal clerk seemed a bit traumatized by the steady stream of hikers coming in for their packages. Andrew also picked up his new backpack: the central metal stay in his ULA Circuit (a very common pack on the trail) came loose and punched through the bottom of the pack. To ULA’s credit, they not only answered the phone at 11AM on a Sunday when he called for support, but also made sure to get a new pack to him at a post office in the middle of nowhere four days later. It’s a Catalyst, the larger model, so the hope is that it will fit him much better.
We got a ride from the post office to the Warner Springs Community Center with a great-grandmother who happily crammed six hikers plus their resupplies into her compact sedan. The Community Center is a place of many wonders: double cheeseburgers, sodas, pie with ice cream, outdoor showers, electricity for charging phones, and space for—when we were there—over two dozen hikers to set up their tents under big oak trees.
There was a kids’ softball tournament wrapping up at the fields next door—I saw a boy leaving with a trophy almost as big as he was—and some hikers were continuing on that afternoon, but we stayed for the night to rest our feet, sort through our resupply box, and eat pie.
8.3 PCT miles hiked + 1.2 miles to the post office, Mile 101.2 to 109.5 Warner Springs Community Center