Distance hiked today: 19 miles / 30.6 km.
This morning the trail followed a creek through the forest, and I grabbed water at the last stream crossing before the trail angled away into the hills. This is probably only the 3rd creek that's been flowing on trail, so it was nice to get some fresh water from it. After that it was a hot and rocky 14 ish miles uphill to Mike's Place.
Mike's Place is a random property in the desert that's been described in many ways by hikers in the map app comments, ranging from "wonderful" to "nefarious". "Weird Americana junkyard vibe" seems the most accurate though. The yard and porch are littered with the most random "decor", stuff in general (junk or treasure?), patched-together sheds, and old cars. The place seems entirely dedicated to hosting PCT hikers, with gates and "no trespassing" messages annotated with "PCT ok". Mike wasn't there, but when he is he might make pizza or chicken and fries for hikers. Either way people can camp in the sandy yard, and a trail leads to a "bathroom" which forks to the left for number one, and to the right for number two.
We arrived there in the late afternoon, and after taking a break, decided to go another 5 miles in the evening to make up some distance.
My knees feel inflamed from the trail being off camber and doing a repetitive walking motion at a weird angle. Aches and pains are just a reality for the whole trail, but this was acute pain on another level. I taped them with KT tape which felt better for a few miles, and borrowed someone's knee brace later. I know it will clear up as my knees get stronger, it's just part of starting a thru-hike. Something that would have you limping back to your car on a weekend hike is now just something you have to push through, because we've got "a long way to go".
Total trail mileage: 131.5 miles / 211.6 km