Mary’s place (145.4) to mile 159.7, 14.3 PCT miles, no off trail miles!
As we reached the last, flat section to the road, we passed a girl named Chirp who showed us some trail magic! Two trail angels, Ferris and 5star, had set up coolers with beer, soda, jerky, and granola bars and were spending the day shuttling hikers back and forth from the trail to the cafe- so cool! BUT, according to Chirp, they were going to eat lunch before coming back again, so we were shit out of luck. We did enjoy their trail magic, though- Matt had a jerky stick and a beer while I ate a granola bar.
As the time neared that we should be hitting the trail, the cafe lost power- and with the power, their well water. No bathrooms, no drinking water. Shit. Matt and I still had a few liters left, but again- it was hot, and I was NOT liking my upcoming water options- either nearly dry algae creek water or long steep climbs off trail. We were lucky, though- some people didn’t have water at all!!
I had originally said that my goal was to hike to 159- but it was still hot and our food (and Matt’s 2.5 beers…) sat heavy in our stomachs. Preston tapped out at the first (green) water source, mile 155 I believe? (beer was a bad choice…)
At mile 158 Matt and I came to the next water source + tent site- the water was a steep climb down a side slope, and since we weren’t desperate and we were both tired, we decided to hike on the nearly 2 miles more to the next possible tent site.
The sun was setting (prime mountain lion time!!), and we were still climbing. FINALLY we came to the tent sites- there were already a few set up (a new Corey and Sunscar occupied the tent next to ours, and on the other side we had Woodpecker and Bear Chills.). Matt set up the tent while I chatted with Corey and Sunscar. (Corey is a photographer- look at his pics on Instagram- livingthepct.) I slipped into the tent, still full from lunch, while Matthew force-fed himself snacks for dinner. Tomorrow we had a big-ass climb to look forward to, with a long side hike for water. Goodnight!
Happiness is: the Paradise Valley Cafe – not only are they super chill with dirty, smelly through hikers spending their days at the cafe, they also allow hikers to spend the night on their property- either in the yard or on their patio! They leave a bathroom open for hikers and offer access to water! And omg! Rides! There is a sign at the trailhead that said we could call the cafe for a ride if needed- and while we were there the owner actually offered to drive a table full of hikers back to the trail- like I said, super chill!! (Also, a signed Bruce Springsteen poster hangs in the restaurant, written out to the owner!)