a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL 2018
starts with a single step.
Miles 205.7 to 220. From water faucet to White water river.
As always it was a bright sunny day. We started before our friends as we knew we would not walk in their fast pace. After walking a mile or so, the trail leads us into open fields, leaving the protection behind a big rocky wall. And suddenly there is wind. A LOT OF WIND! It is kind of exhausting walking against the wind. After some minutes more, Speedy catches up and passes us, saying he just wants to end that section as soon as possible.
The trail crosses a railway track and the highway, therefore we hike beneath a bridge to traverse those.
Apparently two hikers found shelter from the wind under the bridge and put up their tents there. What an unpleasant place to camp I think, every 10 minutes a cargo train crosses the bridge, making unbelievably loud noises and is honking three times like an old, rusty container ship!
A few meters further under the highway bridge we find some trail magic - apple pie and bananas and our other friend Wizard catches up the minute we want to leave.
So we decide to stay some minutes more and then continue our hike.
The trail is now steeper as we have reached the other side of the valley. It is still very windy and we slowly hike towards these big wind turbines on top of the mountain, which are part of the Mesa Wind farm. We are taking a little break to drink some water and relax our feet when a hiker named Mike, who
passed us some minutes before, came walking back to us and telling us that there is another trail magic just 100 meters from here!
So we gather our packs together and meet Norman who calls himself „Norman the doorman“, a 82 year old Korea veteran and trail angel. The doorman offers us some chips and sweets and tells us about his Marihuana plantage - well “i‘s not for smoking, it‘s just for getting CBD”, a substance he uses to make hand moisturizer.
He therefore insists that we touch his so soft,with CBD oil treated hands and shows us some small bottles for a very good price. We gratefully refuse his offer but keep on talking with him.
He explains us that he is at the same spot every day and that he was the last person to see David O‘Sullivan, a hiker who went missing last year and has still not been found and shows us a selfie he took with him.
After leaving the doorman we pass the Mesa wind farm and struggle to cross the border of the valley as it is now so hot, windy and steep.
On the other side of the hill we then climb it is even more windy, especially with the backpacks on it is sometimes like balancing over a tightrope.
We decide that we would not hike a lot more as Maya’s foot is still hurting, but we really want to reach Whitewater river, the biggest river in Southern California to set up camp there and go swimming.
It turns out that the word “river” is a bit exaggerated, it is more like a small creek and about 2 meters wide but only 30 to 40 centimeters deep.
But we don’t mind and meet up with Speedy and Wizard who arrived way earlier than us and continue to hike some more miles.
After bathing in the small pools suddenly Brad “the prodigal” shows up and the three of us set camp next to the river - what a beautiful place!