PCT Section 2 – Mount Laguna to Warner Springs.

The hike from Mount Laguna to Warner Springs takes about 3-4 days.  On the first day we had our alarm set for 5.15 so we could head out of town by 6. Unfortunately we overslept so made it out by 7. This hour would end up haunting us for the rest of the day.
Julian - 1
We’re slowly learning the right amount of water to take. At the start we were taking 1 litre every 2.5 miles but I think we’re probably drinking 1 every 5. We’re still being cautious but the more you carry the slower you are and the harder it is on your body, so it is about finding the right balance.

Julian - 2

Some of the water sources can be pretty sketchy. Here is an example of one we filled up with today. For this reason we’re filtering all the water we drink, even if it looks good and the water report says it is fine.
The views on this section have been incredible. We are able to see for miles as the trail hugs the mountain. It is amazing seeing countryside that is just so vast and uninhabited.
Julian - 3
During this section we also saw our first rattlesnakes. The first was massive with its head being the size of a lemon. The second was splayed across the path which meant 5 minutes of making noise and stomping to try and get it to move, and the third was half way through crossing when Joal arrived. As Joal tried to push on past it, the snake rattled at us which was a bit daunting. For the next 5 miles every branch or rock looked like it might be a rattlesnake.
Julian - 4
In total we walked about 19 miles that day, but as we woke up a little late we were behind a lot of the other hiker pack. This meant we missed 2 lots of trail magic. Trail magic is done by people who want to help out PCT hikers by giving them food, water beer etc. As we got to our rest stops we heard “you just missed someone 30 minutes ago doing trail magic”. Better luck tomorrow!
After a windy camp spot (we were camped out on the ridge) we headed down the valley onto the desert floor.
Julian - 5
Due to the water situation we ended up doing 16 miles before lunch on our second day. This pushed us a little bit so by the time we were getting close to lunch we were pretty tired.
As we approached our lunch spot we saw a sign saying trail magic, 1 mile. This definitely lifted the spirits and helped us through the last mile.
When we got there the scene was awesome. Some guys who did the PCT a few years ago had set up an oasis in the shade under a highway bridge with free hot dogs, cold beer, music and tacos. It was an amazing experience and their kindness blew us away.
Julian - 1 (1)
From this underpass we got a hitch into Julian. This is an old gold mining town now known for its cider and apple pie. Hitching was pretty easy and after 2 minutes we got a ride by some guys who were following a friend who was also doing the PCT.
Julian - 6
Julian - 1 (2)
We slept on the floor of a restaurant called Carmen’s Place with around 15 other hikers. Carmen is amazing: she does hikers’ laundry, gives them a free beer and a brilliant hug. She was selling the shop the day after so she was sad that we were the last hikers to sleep at hers. This made for a pretty entertaining time with tequila shots and good vibes.
Julian - 2 (1)
The following morning we walked to Moms and had the best apple pie and coffee! PCT hikers get this free when we show our permit which was an awesome treat. All in all we were very happy for this unplanned trip into Julian.
Julian - 7
Julian - 1 (3)
At lunch we got a hitch back out to the trail head with a hiker called Brewhike. This guy is notorious for having done the PCT whilst brewing a small keg of beer on his back! He also just became he first person to thru-hike the Death Valley Ring which is a trail that involves 80mile water carries.
Julian - 8
The afternoon consisted of a 10 mile climb through very high wind. We ended up camping in a valley which was still quite windy and aimed to wake up at 5 to avoid the heat of the next day.
Today, after a windy evening we had a relaxing day walking 14 miles. It was pretty cold and it is expected to snow in a town 5 days north of us tonight.
We met a girl named Paige today and hiked most of the day with her. After 6 miles we found a water cache which is amazing as it is refilled by volunteers who drive out into the middle of the desert for miles in order to keep it stocked.
Julian - 9
After lunch we met a mother and a daughter who were doing the PCT together. They were so friendly and after chatting the mom asked about how my Nike Wildhorse shoes were holding up. I’d had a few problems with them since Day 1 as the sole has sunk in a little and at lunch she made a call to head office (she works for Nike) and now I’ve got another pair meeting me in Idyllwild!  It’s amazing the people you meet and the generosity of everyone out here.
After lunch we made it to mile 100. This really lifted our morale as we had been taking it easy as Jenny’s knee was hurting. Now we only need to do that 26 more times 😆
Julian - 10
We pitched up at mile 101 and after about 30 minutes at camp some trail angels showed up with cheeseburgers from MacDonald’s and oranges from their back garden. These angels had hiked the PCT in 2015 to start their retirement and had driven 2 hours to ‘pay it forward’. They left us with “we’ve gone all over the world in our retirement but nothing has been as incredible as the PCT was.”
The plan now is to head to Warner Springs, have a rest day and then make the trip to Idyllwild.

5 thoughts on “PCT Section 2 – Mount Laguna to Warner Springs.

Add yours

  1. This is just amazing, what an experience!! Brings tears to my eyes when you talk about the kindness of people along the way (and I’m not a crier!). Agree with Loreen, great writing. Can’t wait for the next one. xxx

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  2. What a fantastic update, made more so by the kindness of strangers. You’re doing so well! keep up with the brilliant updates and go well!

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  3. Highlight of the week receiving your updates on progress.The terrain looks a very challenging and you certainly earned the apple pie. Keep the reports coming.

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