Today was extrodinary. Jeff and I hitched a ride into Julian and got a great breakfast. We spent most of the day resting and resupplying for the next leg. Julian was an amazing town. We walked up to a local church to see if we could have a place to chang and maybe freshen up for the town actictivties. Father Sakilyo let us use his shower while his mother made us fresh squeezed orange juice served with rubarb and figs. He also offered to wash our filthy hiking clothes. We were both overwhelmed with his kindness, thanked him and we on our way.
After grabbing some pie we headed for another hitch out of town. Patrick, a young local private contractor, pulled over and asked if we needed a ride to scissors crossing. We said yes and with a smirk on his face he replied “f#%$ing hippies,” turned his truck around and took us the 12 miles back to the trail. Patrick was a joy to ride with. He shared a lot about the land and the effects of the drought and past fire damage. He misses his childhood streams and lush trees that have been gone for some years after the droughts and beetle infestations. But he had the utmost respect for us and we assured him we responosble hikers. We continued our hike that evening and camped in a wash in the high hills above the San Felipe Valley. Stunning cactus growth drastically different from that of the hills on the other side of the valley with barrel cactus and very tall ocotillo. We are continually talking up the trail and can’t believe how amazing our trip has been. We have a lot more miles to go but where ever we are we are consumed with our surroundings and our only worries are calculating water and finding the perfect campsite for the night.
Now in the Clavland National forest at mile 119 just outside of Warner springs. After hiking out of the San Filepe Hills the trail leads through an expansive grass meadow with oak trees and small isolated Boulder fields.
We cleaned up and reorganized from Warner springs resource center, which offers food, showers and laundry. A perfect stop for the next 4 days to Idylwild. A steady flowing creek into an almost tropical feeling valley with large succulent plants and poison oak along the creek, lead us to our next campsite.