Thursday, May 24, 2012

24 May - Day 34 - Marathon to Casa de Luna

Agua Dulce (Mile 454.9) to San Franciscito Canyon Rd (Mile 478.6)

Today's Total Trail Miles: 23.7
Total miles hiked today: 27.7

Morning farewells at the amazing Hiker Heaven. We sang for our hosts with many hugs all around.

The Caballeros, all washed up and ready to depart. [Photo courtesy of Donna Saufley]

We got on the wrong road hiking out of Agua Dulce, so logged some extra miles. Ugh.

Beautiful hike up into the chaparral-covered mountains all day, hiking northwest.

The manzanita and oak-covered San Gabriels on the way to San Franciscito Canyon. [Photo courtesy of Qball]
That's the PCT ahead cutting across the hill.

Along the path, the Andersons (whose house we're hiking toward) have created a little oasis of trail magic for hikers. They have fashioned an enchanting little grotto carved out of the manzanita and scrub oak hobbit forest all around us. What's usually impenetrable has become a living room full of lawn furniture and coolers of beer, soda, and snacks.There's hilarious decor of plastic flamingos, Halloween skeletons, etc. and a lending library of cleverly selected books to make us laugh --- what fun!

At the end of the long day we arrived exhausted at the road in the darkk and road-walked in for two miles to Casa de Luna, the home of the Andersons. The driveway has been converted into a huge lounge with couches, stereo, coolers of beverages, tables, chairs. Wow! It's getting chilly, and everyone has their coats on sitting around laughing and chatting.

Everyone gave us a rousing ovation as we stumbled in, and our hostess -- the magnificent "Mama T" gave us a huge hug in welcome. She whisked us into the kitchen for leftovers -- lavish leftovers from the taco salad dinner she'd prepared. We were ravenous. YUMMMMMMM. Now we were happy.

We stumbled, still exhausted, out into the back of the house in the dark where acres of manzanita "woods" have been cleverly trimmed to have paths and tent camp spots up and up and up the slopes. It was full of hiker tents by the time we had arrived -- but we finally found a couple of spots and quickly set up tents, and crawled into our sleeping bags, cozy and dead to the world.

Laughter and fun reign at Casa de Luna, but we were too pooped to play.

Tomorrow we will spend a zero day recuperating here. Yay.

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