The KOA was across the street where Coppertone was posted up. Nice quick walk. Headed over and saw, like usual, hikers I knew. Stopped into the management office to pay and get my tent permit/spot. They had a convenient store, so I stocked up on snacks, some drinks, and grabbed an ice cream bar, Yum! Went to the PCT hiker area and set up my tent. Did some laundry, showered, chatted with my fellow hikers, etc.. While chatting I noticed a train roll by hitting its horn. Then I remembered seeing a bin of earplugs on the office counter! Ha! A train right in the backyard! My buddy Caveman also noticed that they gave them away for free. What?! “Hey honey, lets go camping at the KOA Kampground. No. No. Don’t worry about the train noise, they give out free earplugs.” Hehehe!! Since I live next to train tracks it didn’t bother me, but just wow.
The next morning a couple hiker buddies were gonna be taking off early to avoid the midday sun, so I had them wake me before leaving. Just before the sun came up I noticed another noise I couldn’t place my finger on right away. Then it hit me. I heard lions roaring. Yes lions. Yes plural. I heard that there was a lion and tiger sanctuary owned and ran by Tippi Hedren from the Hitchcock movie The Birds, but didn’t realize it was so close. They apparently have over 50 on site. Crazy noise to wake up to.
After packing up, walked by the PCT monument. It’s pretty unassuming and small. It’s only about 3-4 feet high. Pretty cool to see though.
Continued on toward Hiker Heaven. That’s where I made my first Facebook live appearance, remember? That was so fun! Before I got there though I passed under Highway 14. It was a looong tunnnell headdding towarrddd the lighhht!
And then I came out the other side and got water ( to drink ) from the little flow that went into a tadpole pool. How many people can say they drank water from something like that? Raise your hand. 🙋🏻♂️
Immediately after this was Vasquez Rocks Co. Park. For those of you on Facebook that day I posted a picture of Kirk’s Rock. Not sure what it is? Give it a quick google. It’s famous. It was an impressive area. They shoot lots of movies and tv shows here because of the interesting geological features.
Arrived at Agua Dulce ( Sweet Water ) where we ( Quoi and I are still hiking together ) met up with Caveman and Hot-Lips at one of the local restaurants. Grabbed a burger and waited for a ride to Hiker Heaven. After orientation from hiker Tartan I settled in and went FB live. ( I still think that was as fun as you thought. I’ll be doing that again for sure! ) Zeroed the next day and got a ( 30+ min ) ride to REI for some re supply. Later that evening a ‘few’ of us went into Agua Dulce for dinner at the other restaurant and some hit the trail again. ( ask me sometime to see pictures of the ride into town. I should probably keep them offline. 😝 )
Only 25 miles away was the next hiker stop, Casa de Luna.
2 thoughts on “Lions and Tigers and Trains, Oh My! ”
For some reason when I heard about this hike at first, I thought that it would be a solitary adventure, it sounds like anything but! Good for you Dave. I enjoy hearing all the different trail games. Solitude is overrated!
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It’s a little of both. Most of the real fun stuff happens when I’m around other hikers, or at least the blog worthy stuff. When I’m hiking alone or camping alone a lot of what happens is more internal and personal and I feel not as entertaining or blog worthy. Not that some of my solo stuff doesn’t make the blog, but most of it I keep for myself.
That being said, the people I’ve hiked with or interacted with have been awesome and that’s the real laugh out loud stuff.