Date: Saturday, 20 May 2017
Start: Messenger Flats Primitive Campground at Mile 430.4, 5886 ft
Finish: Acton KOA (Kampgrounds of America), near Mile 444.3, 2226 ft
Daily Miles: 13.9 PCT, 0.2 other
Total PCT Miles: 444.3
Weather: Very warm and sunny all day
Accommodation: Tent in Acton KOA commercial campground
Breakfast: Muesli & Coke
Lunch: Ice-cream and danish pastry
Dinner: Pizza and ice-cream
Highlight: The first hour at the Acton KOA. I arrived at 12:30pm hot, sweaty and thirsty, checked in to pay from my camping spot and at the same time bought a chocolate milk, Coke and pint of ice-cream. Then I sat outside the store in the shade with a small group of PCT hikers, most of whom are now familiar, and savoured the drinks and ice-cream with friends who were doing the same.
Lowlight: None really.
Pictures: Click here
I was on the trail at 6:30am as usual, hoping to reach the Acton KOA commercial campground (friendly to PCT hikers) 14 miles away by lunchtime. The trail began what was a long descent, punctuated by a few grinding ascents, on what was already quite a warm day by 7am. My first rest break target was the North Fork Ranger Station in seven miles, where I could replenish my water if necessary, and I reached there at 8:45am. There was some “trail magic” happening, as someone had left a cooler full of soft drink and muesli bars near the picnic area asking for a donation of $1 for each item taken. Sadly, I only had one one dollar note, so limited myself to a can of Coke to go with my muesli breakfast, but I knew there was more Coke in my future for the day so wasn’t too worried.
After that pleasant stop in the shade, I hd eight miles to go on a very hot morning. To break it up, I stopped half way and drank nearly a litre of water, which was very welcome. It made the remaining miles pass quickly and I reached the Acton KOA at 12:30pm. After checking in and consuming some drinks and ice-cream with fellow hikers, I set up my tent and spent some time showering and doing laundry. Once the chores were done, I relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. There is a pool at the campground, but there’s also a large group of boy scouts camped here, and many of them were in the pool.
I ordered pizza delivery together with two other hikers for dinner, but couldn’t eat all of mine though still found room for another ice-cream.
Tomorrow, I have ten miles to the small town of Agua Dulce, which supposedly has a reasonable grocery store, so I will resupply on my way through. If there was a motel there, I would probably stay the night, but it seems the only accommodation is a place called “Hikers Heaven” where PCT hikers can camp and get food. I suspect it will be crowded, and it doesn’t appeal that much. I’ll probably just keep hiking after the resupply. It was a record high temperature for Los Angeles today and the heat is supposed to last until Thursday. That’s going to make the desert this week hard work.