Unless. (Dan aka The Lorax)

Day 5: 13 miles
Day 6: 20 miles
Day 7: 9 miles (kick off)
Day 8: 0 miles (kick off)

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Day 5 started off with a neat 10 mile desert stretch. All the cactus species are flowering with corollas of magenta, blood red and lime green to lure chiropteran pollenators. The tall Yucca plant stands out in this landscape dominated by succulent ground strata. It is also in bloom but with purple tipped white panicals. The combination of its tall spindly stem and explosion of colour at the top makes flowering Yucca plants look like truffula trees from the Lorax. At least I think so. My observation of this was followed by some essential Dr. Seuss quotes, which led to Tara suggesting the Lorax as my trail name. As a big fan of the movie, I obliged.

“Unless someone like you,
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to change,
it’s not.”

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By mid day we reached the mile 77 road crossing. Trail rumours of free pie and sandwiches in a nearby town had us hoping for a hitch into Julian, CA. This came to fruition thanks to a 2013 PCT hiker called walkie talkie who had flown in early for the PCT kick off festivities and was shuttling hikers 13 miles into town and back.

We took most of the day off in town resting, eating and then hiked another 3 miles (hey it was all uphill) in the evening. That night was super windy and pulled out our tent stakes several times despite having boulders on top. Coarse granite sand offers little resistance to stakes, so I picked up a few more today with a more generous girth.

Rubber boa

Rubber boa

100 mile team shot

100 mile team shot

Water sources the next day were at 10 and 20 miles, so we rose early and aimed for a 20 mile day. We saw 2 rubber boa snakes today but no rattlers yet. Everyone else has seen several, so it’s only a matter of time.That night we arrived at a great water tank which allowed us to douse the dirt off and complete some laundry before PCT kick off weekend.

The next morning we hiked the last 9 miles of section A (miles 0 to 109) past eagle rock into Warner Springs, CA. The community here has a great little facility for hikers with wifi, free coffee (well it appears free), resupply essentials and cheap burgers. We hung out for a while and then turned our attention to travelling 70 miles back to Lake Morena for the Kick Off bash.

Eagle rock

Eagle rock

Our ride back was an awesome mid 80’s VW van that owner had entrusted to us. Tara and I were joined by 4 new friends for a fun filled 2 hour drive south. We’re at Kick Off now just winding down the second day of festivities. Tomorrow is the last full day here, so we’re working on finding a ride north tomorrow or Sunday to resume our trek at mile 109.5. Hopefully we don’t have to leave before the burger dinner.

Woohoo 4% done already,
Lorax

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4 Responses to Unless. (Dan aka The Lorax)

  1. claire says:

    Hi Dan and Tara! This is such a cool thing you guys are doing! I just finished reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed and remembered I heard something about you two doing a big hike, I wondered if you were doing the PCT and when I checked your blog I saw that you were. It’s so awesome to read your entries and see that the trail angels, trail names, and incredible community of hikers that were described in the book is for real! I wish you guys all the best, have the time of your lives out there!!! From Claire at Grassroots.

    • Thanks Claire! We are having so much fun. I read that book too, and swore I would never do a hike like that…haha…who knew I’d be doing the same thing. Still feels unreal most days, but if I take it one day at a time then it feels more tangible. Thanks for checking out our blog!

  2. Kirk Durston says:

    Lorax, that is a good name. I like trees.

  3. Janet says:

    I told Matt what you guys are doing and he says ” what kind of yazercizer does that” ( his own made up word) Tara hope your feeling better!

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