Day 5: Aussies & Mike’s Place

Memories from April 25

I let the sun wake me up this morning. It’s a nice way to get up and I was still the first out of their tent.

The walk for most of the morning was across gentle fields where the light would illuminate the grass as it blew making it look like lustrous hair.

I passed Eagle Rock

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And then Warner Springs:

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I didn’t have a resupply in Warner springs but my water filter has been so slow that I’m looking for a new one (yes, I’ve tried a couple of back flushes). Just leaving Warner I met Kate and Rip Snorting (whom I think of as The Aussies). They were hiking with a guy named Connor who also worked in software.

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They set off at a blistering pace so despite my intent to take an easy day, I kept up which was made easier when the pace quickly slackened and stayed that way for most of the day. We got to talking and Kate tried to trail name me Excel because I talked about work with Connor for half an hour.

We crossed a stream and I washed shirt and socks. But didn’t bathe. As I write this a few days later, I look back on that with regret. We also learned what poison oak looks like from a nicely marked sample.

Originally the Aussies were bound for a campsite which would have made it a low 20 mile day for me. Then someone said that they’d heard that a trail angel named Mike made pizza for hikers and Kate decided we were going to make it there instead. Kate had been the slowest all day until about 6pm with daylight burning. I think her trail name should be Flyin’ Kate.

Mike wasn’t at Mike’s Place but Tom, a trail angel, and Josh, the caretaker, were making pizzas and keeping a fire going as hikers set up for the night in one of the weather beaten buildings or pitched a tent in the yard. There was supposed to be a strong wind a good chill which underscored by a few seconds of hail. I pitched my tarp against the side of a building using a hole in the wall and the handle of an olden times laundry roller used to squeeze water out of clothing.

Going to sleep that night I could hear Connor reading to the Aussies as has apparently become their tradition.

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