Day 5: sun, sand and stabby plants

April 29
Mileage 25 (24 + 1 mile to the post office)
mile 91 to mile 115

It was warm last night at the third gate cache and I slept with my sleeping bag over me like a quilt, the little night creatures doing their things all around me, the stars dull from light pollution or dust, I don’t know. I woke at one point to a spider running wild-like up my arm on some urgent errand, playing out the invisible dramas of the insect world- lives hanging in the balance, unrequited love. I brushed the spider off and fell back asleep. The night creatures danced around me like sugarplum fairies, their hopes and dreams and fears, all the things we are not supposed to see.

Today I marched dully in the heat down off the hills, past the stabby yucca and the feathery cactuses, into the enchanted grassland that leads to Warner Springs, a little cluster of buildings that is kind enough to accept our packages at their post office. Everything was lush in the desert and in the grasses, green after these spring storms, waving and breathing and blossoming. In warner springs I took a long outdoor shower in a sun-drenched wooden stall, rinsed out my clothes and then put them back on wet, ate a dry hamburger and walked a mile down the baking road to the post office. Half of my resupply box went into the hiker box, as I don’t have the hiker hunger yet- I hope to have it by Paradise Valley Cafe, as I plan to eat quite a bit of food there and enjoy it. So far on the trail I’ve been a little naseous and my stomach has been in knots. The transition, you know. I am mostly used to sitting.

Hiked out of warner springs with Twinkle Toes, Brainstorm and McButters, three nice dudes who walk fast and make lots of jokes. Through the eerie overgrown ropes course and past the tire swing and the massive grandmother oak tree, back up into the hills. We’re camped next to Agua Caliente Creek with the croaking frogs and the leafy slanted ground- in three days Idyllwild.

Photos on my instagram.

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4 thoughts on “Day 5: sun, sand and stabby plants

  1. I’m curious about the nicknames. I meant to ask this during the 2013 journey, but never did. The introduction of three more nicknames spurred me to ask it this time around. Are these created by you, Carrot, for the purpose of anonymity and story telling or is there a thru-hiking PCT culture which results in the interesting names being created?

    Love your writing, so honest, emotional and captivating.

  2. Let every spider out there know that if they run up or down any of my limbs or other body parts, they will come to a sudden and untimely death. I require a bug free zone in my tent. :)

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