mile 109 (Warners Spings) - mile 179 (Idyllwild) --> 1 mile = 1.6 km
All fresh and rested from Warner Springs, we started hiking again. Just on our way, Felix got very inspired by his own innovating idea of "backwards walking". Since then he is sort of known as "Backwise". The guy who made up the backwards movement and is more informed about ultralight hiking than all the other people on the trail. Backwise isn't working that well as a name though, so this will probably change if something better comes by. For now, he is signing the registers as being "Backwise" - walking back in time... ;p
Very soon on the trail we passed by Eagle Rock. The name already says enough. It's a huge rock, which really looks like an eagle. Pretty impressive.
After Eagle Rock, we slowly got into the heat again. Every step seemed to put the temperature up, and our water became very precious. After our siesta, we found out that we had to walk 8 more miles with each only one liter of water left (on these hot days, we calculate to drink about 1 liter of water every 3-4 miles, we average a speed of 2,5 - 3 miles a hour in not to rough mountain area) . We hadn't been cameling up water enough at Warners Springs that morning and at our Nero, the day before (a rest day where you only hike a few miles) and that made a huge difference. So from about 2 to 6 pm, we hiked as fast and non stop as we could, to get to our next water source.
This next water source turned out to be at trailangel Mike. Can you imagine how that feels?... Exhausted, thirsty, hot, hungry and than you find this place in the middle of nowhere with a fridge full with cold root beer, water, getorade and spicy home made super fat tortilla chips! So of course we hanged out for a while at this Mike's place. Some friends came in that we have been hiking with before and within no time, there were about ten very very happy people talking about food, poop, blisters,food, miles, water, heat, food...
Around 7.30PM it was getting dark, and since "Doc" (the fysiotherapist on the trail, who doesn't seem to get a free day of work here...poor guy ) just plucked a tick out of his leg, we decided to hike into the night to find a nice spot out of the bushy area. Malibu was walking along and since the moon was so bright, we didn't need a flashlight. This was a great experience. It looked like we were walking in a black and white picture with again these marvelous stars above us. After two hours we bumped into Ivo (methinks) and Kristy (Tutone), also some hikers we met before. They were cowboy camping at mile 131, and here we decided to drop our stuff and spoon next to them on top of our flat tent. Malibu continued alone. Another guy (I don't even know his real name) that was camping a few feet from us, was really happy to not need to sleep alone. This Mike-guy seemed to have had some strong home grown marijuana, and this stoner tried it out. He probably got the best weed he had ever had and lost his grip on reality while his was walking alone in the dark and thought that he was walking back to Mexico. This guy now is of course stuck with the name "Skyhigh". He is doing ok now though :)
Since that night, Methinks and Tutone seemed to have the same walking pace as we do, so we just happen to start walking together.
And then again, we walked through intense heat. At some point we started thinking, that we might be walking through a boobytrap area; spikes, no water, heat, poison plants and snakes...At shady spots, we sometimes would find knocked out hikers. But the thing that kept us going was the fact that we were hidding for: Paradise Cafe (can you see the stars around the name glowing up???.. ;). A dinner lodge were we knew we could get the best hamburgers in the whole area. The last miles were pretty hard and exhausting, but then there was this heavenly healing place with a holy menu. We directly jumped into the bathroom, washed our hands and faces and ordered milk shakes XXL and root beer float as the first cours. (my first experience with root beer float: root beer (or another soda is also possible), with some scupes of vanilla ice cream Mmmjum!!) and as dessert a big plate of the best double layered veggie hamburger with a bunch of french fries. Oh... So good! ( yes.. even very strong principles about health food seem to get flushed away with the start of: the hikerhunger MWAHAHAHA... )
At 8PM, Paradise Cafe closed her doors and we were allowed to sleep on the porche, so we did. 8 hikers in a row, happy, stuffed and warm. We slept like little babies.
The next day we hitched into Idyllwild, where we decided to stay in the garden of a very cosy Berliner style bakery. They offered us to wash our clothes and we gave our feet some rest. We needed to resupply again and so, we bought kiloooos of vegetables, fruits, and all healthy stuff. That night we ate a family size pizza and after that, we filled the huge pizza box with all the greens we had and ate it all. In the morning we had breakfast (and coffee!!) at the bakery and "redecided" to do the detour.
There have been some wildfires around the area in 2013 and since the flora and fauna are still very funerable, the official pct trail is blocked somewhere between paradise cafe and Idyllwild.
We walked 15 miles on this detour. Just when we the trail turned into an ugly paved road for the last 10 miles of the detour, a car of a former pct-thru hiker stopped and he asked us if we wanted a hitch back to Idyllwild. We thought about it : ugly boring long paved road or... pizza?? 15 minutes later, we where back in Idyllwild. This time we ordered TWO family size pizza. Ivo and Felix are now officially kings of pizza eating.
The next morning again: fresh bakery oatmeal with blueberries, cinnamon roles and cappuccinos. And then, no more food parties, but back into fast food free, wild mother nature. Believe it or not, we were looking forward to that. Felix will tell you more about what happened out there...
I'm now going to eat my delicious burrito!! ;))