The Warner Springs Community Resource Center is both wonderful and fascinating. Due to my blisters and the obnoxious pain in my hip, I decided to spend the whole day today here and I will get back on the trail tomorrow. Everyone says not to push too hard early on because it can cause major issues that knock hikers off the trail, so I don’t feel bad taking the time to let my body recover. I would rather take a day off now when I just feel weary and overworked than have to quit the trail later due to an overuse injury.
When you first hike in, they have you sign in and give you a very quick overview of the facilities. After greeting my bridge troll crew last night, I immediately wanted to wash off the last 110 miles. They have bucket showers with warm water and you can also wash your clothes and wear donated loaner clothes while your clothes dry in the sun. I felt like a new person once I was clean and in fresh clothes.
There is a mobile outfitter here as well, Two Foot Adventures. She has a few options for pretty much anything a hiker could need from packs to sleeping bags to food to blister care. These are all highly specialized items so not particularly cheap, but when you desperately need something, the quality is worth it. I grabbed a pair of quality insoles and batteries for my GPS locator which refuses to charge.
There was a local volunteer taking people to the post office, so I went and collected my first resupply box. I still had a little bit of food left over from the first section, so I ended up selling a few meals to Andreas today to lighten my load. I also walked to the post office today (one mile each way, so I wasn’t a COMPLETE bum today!) and sent some things home. While there I met a hiker from France named Laurent and we walked back together. He passed me on our descent into Scissors Crossing and he was eager to keep moving along the trail.
The center has a massive hiker box where hikers can ditch food and items that they no longer want and other hikers can scavenge for things they may need. It is really quite entertaining to dig through the boxes and see what people thought they would need… Early this morning, the food hiker box was quite full, but then I watched as two hikers raided it and did nearly an entire 4-day resupply from the mystery ziplock baggies left over by others. I think there was only a bottle of soy sauce and a half-eaten jar of peanut butter left in the box when the center closed this afternoon.
It is really interesting to see so many different packs, different tents, different set ups all at once. There are hikers from all over the world here and I heard at least 4 different languages today. The center runs some analyses on the sign-ins that we fill out upon arrival, creating some really great statistics that I hadn’t been able to find online. Number of hikers per year, per month, by age, by country, by state. I enjoyed poring over their data for quite a while.
When the center was getting ready to close, one of the volunteers called us all outside to look at the sky. It was magical. An unexpected reminder of the beauty that draws us all outside.
Hikers that I haven’t seen in a while showed up today as well, including Professor, Peaches, Big Money, Jukebox, Koolaid, Hot Takes, Gaelin and Ian. I texted with Shannon and Sarah, and their groups are doing well but still behind. As I’ve said before, the ebb and flow of the trail is an interesting phenomenon.
Now I’m in my tent, set off from tent city just a bit, having watched the sun set and feeling refreshed and ready for tomorrow’s trail. I start section B tomorrow (new maps!) and am looking forward to a return to solitude.
Miles: 0 (unless you count those 2 post office miles!)