Hauser Creek to Cibbets Flat Campground – 17 miles (27km) – 32 miles total
I woke up early this morning as there was a 1100 ft (330m) climb out of Hauser creek and then down into Morena Lake. I had heard it was a tough climb so I didn’t want to do it in the heat but the cool of the morning. However the climb was pleasant. The great thing about having done the TA first is that it makes the PCT with its graded switchbacks seem pleasant. A 300m climb on the TA would be brutal but here it is a pleasant meander upwards.
The other thing that is great, is that I am not the slowest. In NZ I could either keep pace or was left in the dust of the people I hiked with, but I was never the one out front. Here I am. It won’t last long, within a week or two everyone else will have their trail legs and will be leaving me in their dust again, but for now I am going to enjoy not always being one of the slowest.
After the climb up. I walked down to Lake Morena and was greeted by a church group giving out oranges and granola bars. I stopped and had a pleasant chat with them. Then I walked to the little general store in Lake Morena and got a root beer float. I figure I need to try all these American things while I am here. It was ok. It is what I would call a Spider drink, ice cream and root beer as the soft drink. I hung out a while at the store chatting to other hikers before walking on.
Root beer float, how American of me 🇺🇸
Again the scenery and flowers were amazing. I made it to a campground by lunch time and as I sat down at a picnic table a guy walked up to say they were offering trail magic 50m away. So I went and enjoyed a burger for lunch and chatted to the people. At this point the day was already pretty great, but as I hiked out for the afternoon, within an hour I came to a short track down to some pools in the river. It was a no brainer to go down. I had a swim in my clothes (laundry and shower done) and then we hung out in the sun soaking our feet. This trail feels like a holiday compared to the TA. Partly because I am fit and doing 15 miles in a day is not a stretch for me. For others, they are struggling with the distances.
After leaving the pools there was only 4 miles to the campsite, however at the road crossing there was a sign saying that the campsite a bit further on and 0.8miles off trail had trail magic at it. I was sold. What is a bit more hiking for real food. The trail magic was amazing. We were given burritos for dinner and they had a cooler full of drinks and so many snack food available. After the burrito and some chocolate for dessert. The campfire was lit and we spent the rest of the night talking around the fire like moths to a flame. Days on trail don’t get better than this. It really was a 10/10 day.
Today I am thankful for trail magic.