Today turned out to be the hottest day so far, with temperatures reaching 103 degrees. Normally, if I start hiking at 6 am, it is early enough to get some miles in before sweating hard, but today I began sweating almost at once.
From camp, I hiked about 8 miles down to where the trail intersected a highway. There I ran into Princess Cowboy, Butter Cup, and Captain Jack. I had camped with them after resupplying in Big Bear. I met a Trail Angel named Sunny at a parking lot near the road and took a break with them. Pleasure Way showed up there as well.
It was a long hot hike up hill from the road. I was sweating as hard as I ever had. There was no real shade to be found. I took a 20 minute break hiding in the semi-shade of a small bush. My umbrella provided some relief and I used it almost all day. When I was about three miles out from Agua Dulce, I came across a good sized tunnel that ran under a major highway. I took a good long break in the shade of the tunnel and after about 40 minutes, Captain Jack and the others came up and joined me.
From the tunnel, it was only 3 sweaty miles to town, where I stopped at a Mexican restaurant for a second lunch of nachos and a virgin Margarita. After a spicy second lunch, I caught a ride with one of the guys who volunteers at Hiker Heaven, a Trail Angel’s house where they offer camping, water, laundry and showers. The man who gave us a ride was a veteran who also works on the NCIS TV show as a body double for the Medical Examiner Ducky.
When I got to Hiker Heaven, I took a nice cold shower and filled up my water bottles. I also ran into Black-Squach who was getting off the trail to go back to work for a month. He plans to return back to the PCT in July. I wish I had more time to spend there to rest and visit, but I wanted to get a few more miles up the trail today. It was about 6:15 when I left.
On my way out of town, I met a group of hikers heading out too, so I joined them and we hiked 8 more miles until we reached the top of the mountain and I called it a night. It was about 9:30 when I set up my tent. The group I was with had spent the previous night at Hiker Heaven and they felt good, so they continued on.