Day 7! After a windy night of cowboy camping, we got back on the trail quite early round 5am. We still had about 2l each of water and only 5 miles to the water cache, but with the promise of no sleep, we just pushed on. Mile 91 came quickly and soon we had another 3l of water to add to our supply.
Our next watering hole would be in 10 miles, and predominantly downhill (or so I thought). What came next was a grueling 5 mile winding hike up to the top of the ridge. Earlier I (Steve) had remembered that round mile 96, there is a small cave in the side of the hill. I surprised Kristin with the refreshingly cool and comfortable spot to relax for the next 2 hours out of the heat of the day. It ended up being quite popular with a few people passing by who’d hoped to also relax in the small cave, only suitable for <2 people.
After Billy Goats cave, we started the 5 mile decent to Barrel Spring for a refill of some water. Just before we hit Barrel Spring, we finally hit the 100 mile mark! It was a fantastic feeling to have, finally into the triple digits.
The rest of the day lead us across the Warner Springs Meadows, hugging the upper edge of vast fields of grass. It was beautiful to experience this just before the sun greeted the horizon. We spent the night 4 miles after Barrel Spring, next to San Ysidro creek, finishing off a long 18.4 mile day.
It was certainly a tough day on our feet. The next day we hobbled the 5 miles into Warner Springs, and took a much-needed break, a nero (near Zero) day. On the way there we walked past Eagle Rock, a spectacular natural rock formation 3 miles outside of Warner Springs (See the pic below).
Warner Springs is a tiny little community, surrounded on 2 sides by some mountains, and the rest by a wide open valley. they have a community center, which in recent years has grown tremendously in popularity with the PCT community. They sell various things, as well as some food and coffee for donations, to help raise funds to support the center.
After arriving at the center, we quickly learnt that they have Epsom Salt foot baths. We soon were soaking our feet in these baths for ages, and started tending to our many blisters. We figured that we were getting so many blisters from some inner soles that we had purchased shortly before the trip. Our shoes were too tight, and the comfy cushioning was certainly comfy, but added to increased friction. Unfortunately we figured the soonest we could get rid of the soles would be Idyllwild.