May 14, 2018 | miles 106.2 to 124.9 | Warner Springs
Warner Springs – our first trail town! Hobbling in on my knee and feet was painful, but I was greeted with a cute little town with a dedicated spot for hikers next to the community center.
Along major stopping points, there are often hiker boxes where hikers leave unwanted and unnecessary gear and food for others to scavenge. Warner Springs had an incredible hiker box; as the first major town with both a gear shop and a post office, many thruhikers purchase newer, lighter gear and either donate or ship home what they no longer need. An entire table was covered in unwanted clothes, food, gear, personals (luxury items like deodorant, shampoo, etc.), clothing, and more. Another table was similarly stacked alongside nearly 40 pairs of shoes of all shapes and sizes.
I was fairly lucky; with the guidance of /r/ultralight, I had already cut out most of the fat from my pack list. However I did swap out my 4 L bladder for a 1.5 L; even after just four days on trail, I knew that 3.5 L water capacity should be plenty.
Felix helped me pick out a new hat since I lost mine on the second day, and we all relaxed in town for far too long after picking up our packages from the post office. Unfortunately I had already grown sick of the food I sent myself, so I ended up swapping quite a bit with Gautam, Sam, and whatever I could find in the hiker box and leaving the rest.
I ended up hiking on ahead while my friends went to the restaurant. With my feet and legs in pain, I knew I’d be slower and needed all the buffer distance I could get. And walk I did, until just 2 miles before Mike’s Place.