Day 29: Camp above Green Valley to Casa de Luna
Trail miles 471.3-478.2
May 31, 2019
I packed up quickly and left the grove of low oaks where I’d camped the night prior, eager to find a place to dig a cat hole.
At Casa de Luna, the Andersons host hundreds of hikers each year, offering unlimited taco salad for dinner and a pancake breakfast with similarly unrestricted portions to anyone who walks the PCT to Green Valley.
I hitched to the convenience store (really the only store in town) with Casper and a couple other hikers we met at the road crossing. While buying a watermelon popsicle and a spicy V8, I met AK, another Dane who has been leap frogging my trail family since the Mexican border and who has recently been camping with us. She walked me back to Casa de Luna, where Danish showed me a camp spot in the manzanita forest behind the Andersons’ house. On the way through the trees, he pointed out the many colorful rocks painted with symbols, quotes and outdoor scenes by previous visiting hikers.
With my tent set up, the relaxation truly began. Although I did not feel exhausted from the short hike to the road, I felt like I was coming down with a cold and was grateful for a bit of a rest day.
We sat under a large oak, lounging in lawn chairs and hammocks, eating snacks out of our food bags and taking turns walking back to the convenience store for ice cream. At one point Casper borrowed a small guitar (designed to be carried, the instrument was short and thin but had four strings tuned like the four upper strings of a guitar) and played and sang a few folk songs masterfully.
After washing our hands with a hose, we gathered with the fifty or so other hikers staying for dinner and snaked through the outdoor buffet, heaping our plates with chips, beans, cheese, tomatoes, cabbage, onions, sour cream, and hot sauce. We cleaned our plates and returned for more.
As dusk fell, Terry Anderson switched on strings of colorful lights and turned up the music for the most hallowed Casa de Luna tradition. Again, we lined up and, one by one, danced up to Terry to earn a coveted PCT Class of 2019 bandana.
Hiking is hard