Day: 32 (14.1 miles)
mile 430.6 – 444.3 / 5878 ft- 2275 ft
We left from Messenger Flats and were back on the PCT. The trail was not devoid of poodle dog bush, and in places barely avoidable. I think this plant has something against hikers as it is a sneaky little bugger, interspersed amongst benign flora and fauna adjacent the trail reaching into the trail at ankle and hand level. Its friend poison oak also made an appearance. That waxy leaf sneaks up on you when you least expect it. Today’s trek required focus and concentration. We (Paul, Poco Loco and I) thought we’d be smart and road walk a bit to cut out an uphill of poodle dog and blow downs. Apparently we were too smart for our own good and almost missed getting back on the trail resulting in a bit of bushwhacking…dodging through poodle dog bush…Poco Loco got the worst of it as she got to the point of no return in her bushwalking and ended up just plowing through the stuff. We reached the North Folk Ranger station happy to find its resident (USFS carpenter) ensuring plenty of water for the remaining leg to the Acton KOA 8 blistering hot miles away. Once fully hydrated and “rested” we set off in the late morning sun to the KOA. Loaded down with 4 liters of water as it was going to reach near, if not over 100 degrees, and the call of beers, ice cream…and a shower overrode and thought of sensibility of waiting till after the height of the heat had passed. Heat stroke be damned, icy cold ingestible foodish products await! The Acton KOA was like Shangrala, an oasis of sorts, and it arrived not a moment too soon as we hit the pavement we were both out of water. The staff at the KOA went out of their way to make us welcome and see to our needs. Beer run? Towels? Pizza? Our own thru-hiker section and hiker box with shampoo and soap…glorious soap and flushing toilets with near endless supply of TP and hot water. The only odd part about the KOA was the unusual noises…freight and passenger trains that run till midnight… (normal people midnight), and the roar lions? Beowolf asked the next morning, ” Did anyone hear dinosaurs last night?” Turns out what we heard were the roars of lions AND tigers…Michael Jackson’s, lions and tigers to be exact at a wildlife refuge called Shangrala… remarkable, who’d a thunk it?