Before I left the Warner Springs Community Center, the woman who worked there, Patrice, took my photo and posted it online. I guess I made my feelings about walking pretty clear while I was stopped at the community center.
I actually found this hilarious
It wasn't long after I headed out that I got to Eagle Rock, which seriously does
look like an eagle. There wasn't anyone else around, which was kind of cool. I've seen photos of it, and it's always crawling with people.
I'd definitely call that an eagle
A little ways down, I met Two Cup and Socks at a sketchy water source. They had hiked northbound the year prior and decided to hike southbound to see how it was; for the record, they liked going southbound better.
Some nice flat trail to get some good miles in
I hit the 100-mile marker for NOBOs right as it was getting dark, and felt how close I was to the end. It got very windy that night in the area, and I had heard from Two Cup and Socks that it was like that all the time. I found a great campsite with a good amount of wind protection, and had a quiet night to myself. I could count the number of nights I had left on the trail on one hand now.
Only a few days left on the trail
I woke up the next morning to some condensation on my tent, so after I packed up and walked a couple of miles, I set my stuff out in the sun to dry out. It was a beautiful morning.
Had to take a break from taking down camp for this
Water was pretty scarce now, so I had to walk off trail for some water sources. It was a quarter-mile off the trail on a relatively steep descending side trail to get to the Third Gate Water Cache, which is so well-kept that it even has a pin on Google Maps, last I checked.
The Third Gate Water Cache
I got a message around here from Ctrl+Z and Katie that there was some trail magic at Scissors Crossing near Julian about 12 miles ahead of me. I wasn't sure I'd make it by then, but the trail was decently flat and it wasn't too hot (yet), so I was able to make good time. Still, the trail magic had to leave before I got there, but Ctrl+Z and Katie made sure I was still taken care of; they left behind a taco for me next to the water cache at Scissors Crossing. You guys rock!
There was a small group of people on an outing at Scissors Crossing when I got there, and they offered me miniature Fruit-By-The-Foots and La Croix. I happily partook. It was getting warm, so I sat under the highway overpass and drank some cold La Croix for a while. Knowing I had less than 100 miles left, I didn't feel so bad about taking my time a little.
After leaving Scissors Crossing, I started the climb up Mount Laguna. It wasn't going to be a steep climb, but I knew it was going to be very long. I ended up camping around a third of the climb up, so I had a big day of climbing ahead of me.