Blisters are for real: days 6-7

Day 6: mile 94.5 to Warner Springs, 15.5 miles

Day 7: zero day in Warner Springs

We woke up early on day 6 from our mountain campsite to get down to the valley before the heat of the day. The 15.5 miles were mostly downhill or flat, and our scenery changed again. On our way down we passed our first literal milestones at mile 100!

Once we got down into the valley, we saw trees again. The trail also went straight through a cow pasture:

And then through amber fields. There were grasshoppers of all sizes jumping in front of our path, as we soldiered through the last few miles as the sun hit high noon.

We made it to Warner Springs around 130pm, and were happy to make it to the resource center here that is run entirely by volunteers. We set up our tent under a huge tree with many other hikers, took hot bucket showers, and washed some clothes. They dried super fast in the heat. I had two gatorades, a mini-bag of popcorn, and cool ranch Doritos; so delicious after a hot sweaty day!

We decided to spend a day here because I have blisters, and they are no joke! I’ve been fortunate enough to not have many blisters in my life, despite lots of hiking, and these ones are slowing me down considerably. I got new shoes sent to the post office here, so we caught a ride with trail angel Eddie from the resource center to pick them up when the post opened at 8am. Unfortunately, they were too small! I was discouraged, but Eddie offered to drive us to Idyllwild (for the price of gas), where the nearest outfitter was to get a new pair. We hopped in the car, and drove the hour there, with a quick stop at the Paradise Valley Cafe for a late breakfast. It was a preview, as we’ll stop there again 42 miles up the trail; to pick-up our next mail drop and try their burgers!

We made it to Idyllwild, and got new shoes. I went up from a size 6 to a size 8 in a matter of a few days! I’m in a pair of Altras now, that many long distance hikers swear by, so hopefully they do the trick for my feet as well!

Back at Warner Springs we rested, and ate tacos for dinner across the street at the high school basketball game. On the way over we ran into my friend Jennifer from college, who is also hiking the PCT this year. It was great to catch-up and eat tacos together! The tacos had homemade guacamole & salsa, fresh radishes, and cilantro; quite delicious, and quite the fresh treat after eating granola bars, rice, and mashed potatoes for dinner the last week! We went to bed quite satisfied, and hopeful that the next day would bring good things and better feet!