A long string of caches and pictures of vast grasslands on the PCT were too much to resist. To prepare for my visit I posted logistical questions on Facebook. Orange County cacher ThatsRoxie responded and agreed to a car shuttle. Roxie arrived at the Warner Springs Community Resource Center first and set up for car camping. Two hours later I checked in, made a donation and tried to set up my tent for the overnight stay. A slight breeze repeatedly knocked down my efforts until Roxie suggested assembly in the windless space between our 2 vehicles. d’OH! It worked! We carried the assembled tent to the end of the lot where it was easy to stake down. Then we found a few caches before dark. Ask me offline about the bathroom & shower situation.
In the morning we drove 15 minutes to the southern trailhead at Barrel Springs. Unfortunately the cache there was stuck out of reach #11 Alternate Desert Route (GC4RKN0).
We crossed the street N onto the PCT. The first mile was a gradual but steady uphill and the view was the same as what I’m used to seeing near home.
We gazed down at what was ahead.
ThatsRoxie’s geodog MissVivian carried her own water and bowl. Later she had to wear a cooling suit. Even then she overheated.
Even without a GPSr it’d be hard to get lost. Here’s ThatsRoxie and MissVivian.
I visited a spot I’d seen in many PCT blogs and videos.
The caches were easy finds. Several thousand PCT thru hikers will obliviously pass them all.
The trail skirted a riparian area with lots of caches. Somewhere inside we split up for the heat-ailing MissVivian. Roxie & MissVivian went ahead to complete the trail without caching. I continued hiking at a slower pace, talking with passing thru hikers, caching and skipping those that were uphill or more than 50’ off trail.
The trail descended back into the grasslands. Caches here were sometimes in random open spots 20’-50’ off trail. Perfect coordinates allowed me to find those. I reached them only because the foxtails were still green and attached. A month from now cachers will need gaiters.
Unlike the Eagle Rocks in Topanga State Park and near Glendale, the one 3 miles S of Warner Springs actually looks like an eagle. I DNF’d the cache there, Eagle Rock (GCZFME) because a group arrived to take pictures and I didn’t want to be in their way.
The final mile was through another riparian area, alongside a running stream.
Most caches here were small tins hidden in burned out downed trees. The rest were bison tubes or other tree hangers.
At about 9 ½ miles I reached the gate across the street from my tent where ThatsRoxie was waiting to drive me to retrieve my vehicle.
Instead of following my original plan to camp another night and then cache N the next day, I packed up and drove to San Diego for 2 days of bike caching.
I refuse to skimp on gear. Except for the windblown tent everything functioned perfectly.
Tent: Big Agnes – Copper Spur UL1 mtnGLO
Sleeping bag: Western Mountaineering – Alder
Daypack: Marmot – Ultra Kompressor 22
Trekking Poles : Black Diamond – Trail Pro Shock
Camp stove: Snow Peak – Litemax
Headlamp: Princtontec VIZZ
GPS: Garmin Oregon 550T (discontinued)