My last day on the trail was a short one. I had just 4.5 miles to go, and they were flat, easy miles at that.
I'd been naughty and camped near a creek the night before, and I resolved not to go to the bathroom the next day until I was well away from it so that I did not pollute the water. I packed up, ate a bar, and got going, eager for the moment when I was far enough from the creek that I could do my business.
The trail crosses the creek and then climbs above it, eventually entering a meadow. This part of the trail is beautiful. I could not get an adequate picture of it, but imagine mountains all around in the background and green, rolling meadows filled with wildflowers of all colors. There were fiddlenecks, baby blue eyes, daisies, lupines, ground pinks, red maids, cryptantha, California poppies, and a creamy white flower I did not recognize.
Before long, the trail reaches Eagle Rock, which is what it sounds like... a rock that looks like an eagle. The meadow gives way to some chaparral, and then the trail reaches another meadow, one I'd camped in before. I was now firmly on familiar ground. From there, the trail enters oak woodland and goes along a creek. For much of the way, the creek is not easily accessible from the trail. But just before the trail reaches the highway, there are some good campsites near the creek, and then the creek crosses the trail and I had to step through the shallow water.
The road is Highway 79, and the trail reaches it next to a fire station. Instead of continuing on the trail, I crossed the road and went right, walking about a hundred yards to the Warner Springs Community Resource Center.
With such a short hike, my body felt fine, but my feet HURT. I thought about it and realized that my hiking boots were probably at the end of their lives.
Unfortunately, even at Highway 79, my stupid T-Mobile phone STILL had no reception. I borrowed a man's phone at the Warner Springs Community Resource Center (he had Verizon, which has service) and called my friend to come get me. Then I enjoyed all of the creature comforts they had to offer: a flush toilet, a chair, and the opportunity to take my hiking boots off and put my camp shoes on instead.
My brief little adventure on the PCT was over, although I still have 28 miles of Section A to hike (from mile 48.9 to mile 77) that I plan to do within the next year. It was so much fun, I think I'll hike Section B next!