Today was a really really great day. I woke up in an exceptionally sparkly mood. We had a bunch of little adventures spread throughout our ten mile hike into Agua Dulce. The trail runs right through the town. Fortunately, this is the only time we have walked on a paved road through a town as part of the trail. We left the KOA and said see you later to Woodard, Galpal and Rockdoc. Hurricane left before we even woke up. He was really quiet. Never heard him pack up. We had to go through a drainage tunnel under the highway at one point. It offered good shade for a break at the end of it. I had rinsed some of my clothes in the sink at the KOA and still needed to dry a few so this was as good a time as any to throw them in the sun.
Right before the tunnel we saw some strange clay sculptures in a grouping on the side of the trail. Rob thought it marked a dog grave, but then we saw another grouping of the same sculptures in the Vazquez Rocks area.
Strange, but I like it! The rock formations in the Vazquez Rock area were really spectacular. We used it as a backdrop for some Gizzie photos.
When we approached the main park area we noticed a lot of people milling around so we walked over to see what was going on. We were pretty shocked when we saw there was a band set up, people walking around in costumes and what appeared to be some sort of play. After standing there and looking around at what seemed like a strange scene to stumble upon we realized it’s Easter weekend! We spoke with someone handing out flyers and confirmed that it was indeed an Easter play. Apparently they do a Saturday show that gets about 800 people and a second show Sunday morning at dawn that Is standing room only. Having these huge rocks as the backdrop to their play is pretty unique. I thought a play at 2p in the blazing heat with no shade seemed a little odd as far timing, but the place was packed. From there we went to the information center and looked around at some of the history. Many many movies have been filmed at Vazquez Rocks – planet of the apes, Star Trek, lots of westerns. We also saw our first rattlesnake…in a cage at the center. We know they are around us because people have warned us on trail that there is one around a bend etc, but we have yet to see one ourselves. We got a good laugh out of finally seeing one under those circumstances. From there the trail ran directly through town passing the grocery store and a cafe. We opted to do the cafe and get a salad which we later regretted. They were having some chef crisis and it took 30 minutes to get a salad – with nothing cooked on it. Totally ridiculous. Even more so cause we were trying to eat fast and get to the wineries before they closed at 5. We didn’t even know this town had wineries until we saw a sign advertising one 30 minutes before, but it was pretty clear we were going. When we finally got our food and got out of the cafe we made a beeline for the Agua Dulce Winery. It was terrible. The wine had so much sediment in it and had a very strong alcohol taste. Worst wine tasting ever. We actually gave our red wine back it was so gross. Best part of that place was a guy we met who was in awe of our doing the hike and said he wanted to hike the PCT one day too. We hoofed it down the street a half mile to get to the other winery in hopes it would be better. Thankfully, it was! Not world class wines, but drinkable at least. We had a nice chat about our hike with a woman who lives in the area. On our way out we met another woman who was also applauding us for our hike. Rob is always really careful to say we “made” the time, not “took” the time for the hike. We planned a lot. We ran into so many people today who just loved the fact that we set out to do this. Some say we are their hero. It’s kind of crazy but I guess we made an out of the box move and people recognize it. We were a little tipsy by the time we were done at the second winery and had to decide what to do for the night. Hiker Heaven is a trail angels house a few miles from where we were. It’s supposed to be great. Almost everyone goes there and hangs out, sleeps, does laundry and just generally commiserates. Rob had another plan though. We bought a bottle of wine and then sneakily camped under some trees by the road overlooking the vineyard. It was a great way to end the day.