I got up to hike just before 7am again. It was about a mile to Eagle Rock, a very rock cool formation that looks just like an eagle with its wings spread.
From there it was only a few more miles to the town of Warner Springs. A lot of it was spent walking next to a flowing stream and under giant trees. 4.5 miles total.
Warner Springs has a community resource center that welcomes hikers in April and May. You can camp for free, and shower, do laundry, eat home cooked meals, and resupply for very reasonable prices. I was meeting my ride to Kick Off there but I had time for breakfast.
Katie pulled in at 10 and grabbed six smelly hikers to drive back down to Lake Morena for ADZPCTKO: Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off. A lot of hikers start hiking from there but I wanted to be a little ahead of the herd so that’s why I started a week early.
We got to Lake Morena, I grabbed the box of food I’d left at the ranger station on my way to the start of the trail, and I registered for the event. Then I got to catch up with friends: Stretch, Lostnfound, Smiley, Rabbit, and Maggie and her dog Charlie. Everyone is doing well on the trail so far. Guthook is here too, as a vendor for his very helpful trail app.
I grabbed a quick shower before the campground filled up more, did some sink laundry, then walked to the nearby grocery for milkshakes and pizza. I may have been overly ambitious with a whole large pizza already so half of it is still sitting in my tent.
We went to check out the vendors, including ZPacks, who I got my shelter from. I haven’t been super happy with the Hexamid Solo as it felt just a little too small for me, my head or feet frequently hitting the ceiling. Joe did an even trade with me for the Solo Plus, which is just a little bit larger in every direction and I and my stuff fit perfectly in it. It’s a slightly older model with a different door, but I like the extended beak better than the storm doors any way. Excellent service!
Next up was a free burrito dinner, a talk on the geology of the PCT, and a bunch of films. The last one was so long that I had to leave and go to bed before it was over: it was way past hiker midnight (9pm).