PCT Day 10: Mile 143-159.5 Paradise Cafe


“Mr Sandamn, give me a treat . . . ”

I woke early as usual, just as twilight began. I started the daily routine of packing away my tent, pulling out breakfast, and getting everything I needed to survive into a little backpack.

Once the first rays of the sun hit me, I was already on trail pressing north. After just a few miles wandering through the manzanita I came upon Muir Woods. It was a small private property area that the owner set up a water cache, bathroom, mini shower, small camp area, and book exchange cabinet. It was so cool!! Lewis, Tori, Janette, Smokebeard, and Chunky Monkey were all there hanginging out before pressing on.

Chunky Monkey (from Austria) submitting a book for exchange

We chatted for a bit and the most anyone could talk about was Paradise Cafe, a 1 mile hitch into town from a rod just 8 miles away. Chunkey Monkey had set his last 3 days of hiking so he would get there just as they served lunch. All that talk was getting me hungry!

We pressed on through the mananita maze, twisting back and forth up and down unil we popped out just west of Lookout Moutnain and really got some stellar views! Mountains for miles and really cool rock formations everywhere.

We pressed the remaining miles to the road, and as soon as Lewis put his thumb out a car came sliding in to pick us up. 3 of of jumped in and Richard (and his dog Jano) was just passing through was nice enough to give us a ride to the cafe!

He screetched off, and in jus a few miles pulled up to the cafe, we were all in high spirits, chatting back and forth about what to get. I had Biscutes and Gravy with an ice cold IPA. After scarfong down breakfast like tiny Tim, we were back on the road and hitched back to the PCT where we left.

It was warm now, but we had miles to make. Smokebeard, Michal, Lewis, Janette, Kim, Ryan, and I (quite the gang) pressed on and up the trail as the scenery began to change. Pines came into view and huge ranite boulders lined the trail. After some miles we finally came to out water resupply cutoff. We hiked down the 0.3 miles to a cool spring emptying into a trough of water, what heven!

After restocking we pressed up the hills and the final miles through some gorgeous oak trees to a beautiful shadded campsite. We set up tents, made dinner and joked together before finally calling it a night. Just a few more miles to Idyllwild!

Hiker Profile:

Smokebeard – Ed, 46, vegetarian, from Rhode Island, with 5 acres in the sticks where him and his wife reside. They have 2 goats, 3 sheep, and a few chickens. With a Mechanical Engineering degree, he works on software from home and every once in a while saves up and takes off to the woods for a thru hike.

Smokebeard, holding what we have dubbed, the deathcone!