23.7 miles (Miles 454.5 – 478.2)
Saufley’s Hiker Heaven – Anderson’s Casa de Luna
It’s just about 24 miles from the Saufley’s to the Anderson’s. Most people do the trek in one day, and some even do this stretch overnight because it’s known to be hot and there are a couple of challenging climbs. We planned to do part of it and hike into Anderson’s in the morning, but we pushed through and did it all today! We just kept on going. It was a tough stretch, too!
Here’s the thing… it’s 24 miles between the two famous PCT trail angels’ houses, and there’s also 24 cans of beer in a case. Some hikers think this is an interesting coincidence and decide to head out and drink one beer per mile. The part that surprised me most is that they make it! Oh, they also wear dresses. Even the guys. I don’t think I’m totally up on the rules of this game, but if we’d have thought of it sooner, Tears and I would’ve done 24 gummy bears instead. Darnit!
I was almost 100% back after being sick. I felt a ton better hiking, but I noticed I still felt a little weak this morning. Tears led for the long morning climb and kept a strong pace. I dragged a little but she pulled me along. The only other residuals from my sick that I noticed were mini waves of nausea a few times, a still-lessened appetite, and really sensitive teeth and gums… Tears and I had several entertaining discussions involving the effects of my vomit acid. We’ll talk about anything!
At least I felt awake and alert though! I enjoyed the day a lot. We met some more hikers, and even Honeycomb from Milwaukee! Another Wisconsinite! The trail started by winding around hillsides as they climbed through some drier, stubbly-brush terrain, then it popped over to the other side of the hills into more greenery. Down some switchbacks to cross a road, then back up another long, steep climb before descending back down to Green Valley where the Anderson’s live… well, technically two miles from where they live. We made it!
Just as we got to the road a van pulled up. I asked as she rolled the window down, “are you giving rides to Anderson’s?” She cheered and answered, “Yes!” Woo-hoo! We were so thankful. Aloha wasn’t expecting us until tomorrow so I wasn’t sure where he was, and we had zero phone signal. I was tired and my foot balls were screaming – and Tears turned her ankle pretty badly again a few miles back. The 2-mile walk to Anderson’s would have been a struggle that we weren’t in the mood to push through!
We arrived at Anderson’s, and as an incoming hiker you get quite the welcome. As the van pulled up, everyone started clapping and cheering, someone hands you a cold beer, and you are led to the back to set up your camp. “Just bring your headlamp and food bags back when you’re done, grab a Hawaiian shirt from the rack, and taco-salad dinner is in about an hour.” Wow, hey!?
I wasn’t feeling great in a lot of ways, so I snuck back to the tent to rub tiger balm on my feet. Then I got stubborn and decided if I wad going to feel icky, I may as well have a couple of beers. It actually went okay. Maybe it’s just what I needed!
Tonight I’m loving my box girls… I think of you all so much! Miss you like crazy!