28 April 2021
Acton KOA to Bouquet Canyon Road
PCT Mile 444.3 to 465.6
I packed up quietly this morning to hit the trail early. I was looking forward to the climb up into rolling hills and then down to Vasquez Rocks!
The trail immediately crosses train tracks and then the “golden spike” monument commemorating the completion of the PCT.
After the climb, the trail heads down to a tunnel under Highway 14 before opening up to a beautiful canyon below Vasquez Rocks filled with poison oak, but also many plants I had not seen before on trail.
A short climb out of the canyon brought me to the iconic Vasquez Rocks. Many TV shows and movies have been filmed here on location, but maybe my favorite is a Star Trek where Captain Kirk is being chased up the strange rocks by an alien!
Just outside Vasquez Rocks, the PCT turns into a road walk through the small hiker-friendly town of Agua Dulce. I stopped to get a breakfast burrito and do some blogging at Home Made. Wonderful! Just as I was finishing, Knock Knock and Puma showed up and joined me at my table. Puma refused to order because he is carrying too much food! But Knock Knock got a huge chicken fried steak and eggs. He couldn’t finish his biscuits and gravy, so JimmyJam scored!
There was a long hot climb in the afternoon, but it went okay. I passed Stumbles and Rugby taking a long break in a small shady spot under a bush. Stumbles was sipping some red wine, and I told her I would have to camp right there if I did that!
I caught up with a hiker named Darko, another person in Stumbles’s new trail family, and we chatted for about half a mile.
The next water source was supposed to be Bear Spring. This is really just a seep of mud, but someone stuck a pipe in the mud and water was slowly flowing out.
Darko got her water first, and I was happy to rest in the shade so I let an older man who was day hiking go next. But he started futzing with the pipe and it stopped working! Not only that, but Darko managed to create an alternate way to get water using her trowel as a spout, and he pushed the trowel aside. Jeez!
We tried for close to an hour to fix things, but the water just came out muddy no matter what we did. Blood from a stone, to be sure! The guy who screwed things up eventually left, and Stumbles showed up, at which point Darko went to town with her about what an asshole he was.
I didn’t really have much choice but to take 3 liters of the muddy water since the next source was 15 miles away.
Fortunately, there was a water cache 2 miles later at Boquet Road. Knock Knock and Puma were camping there, so I joined them. I’ve never been so happy to see water bottles. Thank you trail angels!
Here’s today’s Hike-U:
O Miraculous Bottled Water
I’ll never forget
The joy of mud-free water
After piped Bear Spring