A Little Bit Older, a Little Budweiser

Warner Springs has a church, community center, golf course, post office, fire station, and school, possibly some hot springs too. That's about it.

 Warner Springs, CA junior high/ high school

Warner Springs, CA junior high/ high school

But hikers from all over the world gather here this time of year because it's the last chance to resupply for the next 70 miles of the PCT.

This town's community center opens their doors to hikers. And it's quite the sight to see.

I spent the previous night camped just a half mile south of Warner Springs. While all other hikers pushed on to the community center, I had the tent site, and adjacent creek all to myself.

This morning, with the trail within an eyeshot, I was able to bath for the first time in a week, do some laundry, and collect the coming days water, before heading in to town.

Functional daylight nudity is a novelty in this day and age. 


Not long after arriving, familiar faces welcomed me.

Later, after gathering some food supplies for the 70 miles or so to Idyllwild, I stopped for lunch at the golf course restaurant, before heading back to the trail.

One coke, turned into two beers, a rain delay, and two more cokes.

There as company for lunch were "ManU Mike" and Paul, a new face. They're not hiking together, just in town to regroup like the lot of us here in Warner Springs. 

 ManU Mike and Paul

ManU Mike and Paul

Now there are trail names, which I'll get into later, but "MnU Mike" is his real world nick name.

He's quite the unforgettable character. I first met him at Carmen's in Julian, then later after the echoes of Manchester United stadium chants (a European football club), rang throughout the switchbacks of the open desert.

The wiley 65 year old UK man has made a career in oil, and has spent the last 20 years building a life in Houston, Texas. Despite his time in the US, his accent might as well have just come off the boat. He's now retired, and he's out here, "because why not?"

We shared stories at lunch.

Paul had a good one about a time when his roommate got locked out of his apartment in Chile and then unintentionally got tear gassed as part of a communist protest while walking the streets barefoot trying to find his keys. 

Mike had one of his comics published about 50 years ago while in military school in Dover after he sent in his true life story of playing cricket with a live WWII grenade. The comic was called "Bomb School".

And of course I told the story of that one time I almost got raped while riding a bicycle in Montana. Those damn Montana cheeseburgers...

The first beer at lunch today was a Budweiser. And the beer is dedicated to Lee Sophocleous, a former roommate at Ohio Univeristy and still good friend.


Lee's an avid golfer. He showed me a tip or two about golf back in college. He even helped me pick out new (used) clubs this past spring. I can't imagine having any more beers on a golf course this trip so it had to be this one.

Lee and I have talked about "letting it ride" many times over the years. And while right now he's making a career for himself in the hustle and bustle of Big Apple finance, I hope he takes the leap like me to "let it ride" just once before it's too late.

Mile 115.