Day 20: Mill Creek Fire Station to Acton KOA (25.8 miles)
Updated: Aug 22, 2019
May 27, 2016 - Had a good night’s sleep even though I was camped right next to the road. I tried to get up at 5am but couldn’t get moving until 5:30am. I packed up quickly and was on trail just a little after 6am. I knew I had a long hot day so wanted to get going as early as possible.
The first mile was uphill and on sand so was slow moving right from the start. It somewhat leveled off and I was back to avoiding more poodle dog bush, that was an all day thing. The first half of the day was hiking through overgrown grass/bush. Every couple steps I was afraid I was going to run into some poodle dog bush. Lucky for me I was wearing pants and long sleeves so most of my body was protected.
I was just trying to get that section done as quick as possible so I hiked 12 straight miles to Messenger Flat Campground. Just a short 20 minute break to eat and was back on trail. The trail was in much better condition than those last 12 but was still had poodle dog bush to deal with, just 5.5 miles more to North Fork Fire Station and would be done with that pesky plant. But right before break I run into another poisonous plant, poison oak, so that made the last mile even more interesting.
Made North Fork just about noon where I took a longer lunch break and chatted with some hikers, 2 from Sweden and 1 from England. With this being a dry section the fire station had jugs of water set out along with cokes and candy for sale so I took advantage of that, nothing beats a nice cold drink in the hot desert.
Right as I was about to leave I hear a scream and see a rattlesnake heading right to the person then soon turned away, never seen a snake act like that. I packed up and leave but before I hit the trail I start talking with another couple then I hear the girl scream again only this time it was to get my attention as I had left my solar panel on the table. I thanked her and was on my way down the mountain for 8 miles of fun to the KOA. The best thing about those last 8 miles was no more poodle dog bush.
The hike down wasn’t too bad but it sure was hot. It was windy just enough to where I couldn’t use my umbrella, I tried it for a mile and it got inverted so I put it up.
Right as I got to the road there was a signing saying “Coppertone is Here”. I wonder what that meant. Then I walked by an RV and a guy named Coppertone was giving hikers trail magic of ice cream floats, donuts and fruit. I chatted with him awhile and enjoyed all that good food. The guy had been doing it for 2 weeks, traveling to different spots on the trail. I could have stayed longer to chat but wanted to get to the KOA before the office closed for the day so I said thank you and was off.
I had just a quarter of a mile to the KOA campground. I finally arrived and went to check in. I was worried with it bring Memorial Day Weekend that I wouldn't be able to get a spot. My guide book of the PCT even said not to count on it this weekend. Ended up being plenty of room, there was a large field to camp. Even though there was plenty of room the campground was very crowded, hadn't seen that many people in awhile.
After setting up my tent I went to take a shower. It had been awhile, since Big Bear, that had taken one. Then went straight to do laundry. Ate the little food I had left while I waited for my clothes to clean. Right before bed I got to cool off in the pool. Tomorrow I’ll head into Agua Dulce 10 miles down the trail to resupply.