At Barrel Spring, we awoke to the sound of rain on the tent. It didn’t rain hard, but the weather stayed wet all day.
We hiked 9 easy miles to Warner Springs where we picked up our first resupply package at the post office. From there, we headed to the Warner Springs Community Center. We hadn’t planned on camping at the Community Center, but the rain wasn’t letting up and everyone else was setting up their tents, so we did the same. It was nice to have potable water, wifi and free (with donation) soup. They also provided warm water and 5 gallon buckets for “showers” and laundry. We spent the afternoon eating and hanging out with other hikers.
The next morning it was raining harder, but we didn’t want to hang around for much longer, so we donned all our rain gear and hit the trail, leaving almost everyone else behind us.
We made it to a house (Mike’s place) at mile 127 where normally a lot of hikers congregate and eat pizza out of the wood fired oven in the backyard. It was still raining but now at 5000 ft elevation, it was also extremely cold. There were a few hikers there huddled around some wood burning stoves – nobody we had met previously. Soup was served instead of pizza. Not sure if it was the weather, or the people, or both, but the place felt kind of weird… We spent a restless and rainy night camped there, then packed up and headed out first thing in the morning.
After leaving Mike’s, the sun actually came out for a bit – a welcome sight after two days of rain! We were able to dry our stuff out a little before the next weather system.
Day 10 bought us more rain! We only hiked about 12 miles to reach the Highway 74 crossing. We hitched a ride to Paradise Valley Cafe (supposedly some of the best food on the PCT), but it was closed due to a broken water pump!