We (Wiz, Annie, Kylie, Speed Bump, and I) woke up early today at about 5:45, slowly got packed up and going between 6:30 and 7:00. It was still fairly cool outside, but warmer than the previous day, so we wanted to get to the water cache at 3rd gate early so we could fill up on water and move on toward San Ysidiro, the next best source for water. The ~5 miles from out camp to 3rd gate was relatively easy and cool hiking. We got to the cache just after 8 and drank our fill and filled our bottles. After a short break we were on the trail again to traverse 14 miles to San Ysidro Creek. The sun was glaring down and there was little breeze to cool off.
We strolled into Barrel Springs (reportedly infested with dead rats in the past) at 12:45 with the intention to fix up some lunch and then move on to better water. To our surprise there was a sign on the tree bear the spring that read "free beer", so naturally we headed on over to check it out. It turned out that there was a group of trail angels setting up an entire spread of food that was to be ready in a few hours. Since we had already put in about 15-16 miles for the day, we decided that a nice break under the canopies they set up, enjoying cold water, Gatorade, and beer wouldn't be a bad way to spend the afternoon until chili dogs were ready. While sitting there and chatting they brought out chips and salsa and fresh oranges, but it didn't stop there. A steady stream of food came steaming out of their vehicles including hot dogs, chili dogs, pasta salad with veggies, pineapple, strawberries, mango, watermelon, crackers, salami, and cookies. Needless to say we were there a while and even had a bit of a nap. I love trail angels!
We finally made it back to the trail at 6:00pm and started on our way to Eagle Rock and then Warner Springs, where a pool fed by hot springs was waiting for us! We got to Eagle Rock just as the sun was setting and got some great pictures. Then pressed on into the dark and onto Warner Springs. We reached Warner Springs at 9:00, immediately got a room, and jumped into the hot springs for a bit before they closed at 10:00. What an amazing treat after a 25 mile day!
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