Taking a Break at Casa de Luna on the Pacific Crest Trail

For weary PCT hikers, a trail angel couple's house in Green Valley is the perfect place to recharge.

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So when last we left off, I’d just finished my long, dry day into the Green Valley area and gulped down a lot of water at the local Ranger Station. From there, I hitchhiked to one of the trail’s most legendary spots: Casa de Luna, the home of Terrie and Joe Anderson, trail angels extraordinaire.

Agua Dulce and Hiker Heaven, 24 miles prior, feels very much like a town stop. Most people resupply there, get their laundry done, and eat in restaurants there. They figure out their maps and the lay of the land there. It’s the perfect place to do all of that, thanks to the magnanimity of the Saufley’s.

Green Valley and Casa de Luna—where I’ve spent two zeros now—feels very much like going home. Sure, there’s a small restaurant, a small coffee shop, a small convenience store. But Casa de Luna is where most everyone spends their time. Since there’s little to nothing required of you—most got all that done in Agua Dulce—you actually get to spend this time on self-care, whether by reading in your tent in the Magical Manzanita Forest in the Anderson’s large backyard, chatting with other hikers on the couches and chairs in their driveway, getting a shakedown from one of their trail veteran volunteers, or even just existing in one of the hammocks. Known affectionately as the Hippy Daycare, the Casa also has space to play horseshoes, go lawn bowling, fiddle around on the guitar or bongo drums, and paint rocks to add to the art collection.

In addition to providing breakfast and dinner to hikers at home, they’re also a source of trail magic for those hikers on the hot, desert sections of trail near their house. I got to go on such a run: we brought sodas and pizzas to the Cottonwood Creek Bridge, and made the hikers snow cones. What was once a long, hot wait for the afternoon hours to pass became a bit of a party in the desert. Getting to give back also got me to thinking : What am I going to do to make the trail, and the PCT community, a better place after my time here is done?

While I’d love to stay for another day, get my hair cut, and scheme up ways to make the hikers happy, such decisions are a slippery slope, and Canada’s a-waiting. Still, I’ll be thankful formy time at Casa de Luna the whole way to Tehachapi.