Started: 07:00 @ MM 127.3 – Mike’s Place
Finished: 18:05 @ MM 149.0
Water: Drank 5L. Soda @ Malibu East
Food: Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, Oar Bar, Trail Mix, Cheese, Chicken & Rice
Wildlife: Another SNAKE !!!
Health: 0 Blisters, various foot aches and pains.
I has pretty happy to be heading out from Mike’s Place … It had been a unique experience. Sadly we hadn’t actually had the privilege of meeting Mike and although he was clearly a very generous guy I had also concluded that he was probably about as mad as a meat axe and unlikely to be putting an “x” in Hiliary’s box any time soon.
The trail ahead promised to be hot and dry. There was some confusion about water on this stretch. Talk of a pipe problem meant that a tank usually feed by Tule Spring was dry. Water was limited and so it meant another heavy carry. The next available water wasn’t for over 12 miles and then 15 miles beyond that. I packed accordingly. By 9am it was already oppressively hot. We stopped early for both second breakfast and for lunch. Chance seems to have developed his Hiker Hunger much sooner than most!
Around noon we reached the Tule Spring and at the very same moment a man pulled up on his quad bike. It was a Trail Angel called Tom and he had about 30 gallons of water with him. We very gratefully filled out bottles for the next stretch. Tom explained that there was another Trail Angel about 6 miles up the trail and we should be able to top up again there. We thanked him profusely and headed on.
The next 6 miles was a hot and hard slog. With maybe ½ a mile to go I was down to my last few sips. There was little room for error and if there was no water at the Trail Angels we were gonna be pretty fucked! Finally a sign …
When we reached the water cache it was almost dry, just a few gallons left. I worried for the people behind us on the trail and took only what I really needed. He had to hope that the next cache along the way would have something otherwise it would be a sad night with no water to cook dinner with.
After what felt like the longest 2 miles in the world we reached Malibu East … the most enchanting cache which an old retired cop called Carl was looking after things on behalf of Mary, the Trail Angel who lived right by the trail. Carl offered us sodas and we sat on proper chairs in the shade. I don’t think that I have ever felt so grateful for a seat and a cold drink. Carl has quite possibly the most beautiful human being I have yet met on this trail. When I offered Carl a donation he flatly refused to makes single dime, he told us that the coming out here on to the trail gave him purpose. I knew of this purpose that Carl spoke of and it was good to hear that the trail impacted other folk in such a positive way. We hung out with Carl for almost an hour and he lifted our spirits so much that the final 3 mile push to camp was a breeze.
We had hiked another 21 mile day … something that probably would not have been possible without the amazing generosity of people like Tom, Carl and Mary!