Day 20 mile 299.2 – 317.3
Elevation: ascent 1,906 ft, descent 3,178 ft
Okay last night caused a bit of concern for our sleeping pad. We use an inflatable sleeping pad that has two separate chambers which allows us each to dial in the right about of mattress firmness. The pad is about 2 1/2 inches thick by Exped and we have loved it for the past 4 years. The big problem with air pads is that if they get a hole then it basically becomes useless. Without the air you lose the cushion and a lot of the insulation it provides from the ground. Well my side appears to have sprung a leak, or we think. We couldn’t pin point anything specific but it was slowly getting soft. In the middle of the night Amy switched sides with me, thinking that going with less body weight on it would help. In the morning it still had air but definitely less. This means we may be doing some trouble shooting and gear repair later once we have more time to look at it. I have some patch kits if we can find a leak.
Now onto our day. Each morning before hitting the trail we each grab the days food from our food bags, we use Ursack bags to protect our food from critters. I know the picture doesn’t look like much but it gets us through the day and we can only carry so much food.
Not long into the day we hit mile 300, WOOHOO!! Today was going to be mostly downhill along Deep Creek. However, there is so much water from the snow melt that I think it should be called a river right now. The trail followed the creek but was probably about 300 feet above the river most of the day. The one thing that both Amy and I have enjoyed is the varying scenery that we get each day. Today we were once again treated to a lot of wild flowers which we both thought might be gone by now.
At 11:30 we reached a spot for water, which was supposed to be a spring. This turned out to be a beautiful stream running down toward Deep Creek. We couldn’t pass it up. Packs and shoes came off so we could jump in to clean up a bit. The water was definitely snow melt as it took your breath away plunging your head underneath it. We then lounged on some rocks soaking up the sun while our laundry dried. After about 45 minutes we figured it was time to head down the trail towards the hot springs.
Along Deep Creek there are natural hot springs that are frequented by a lot of day hikers. We had heard that many of these hikers choose to go Oh Natural around the pools. When we got to the hot springs there we definitely a lot of day hikers there but thank goodness they all decided to stayed clothed today. Let’s face it the people who typically are doing that aren’t your super models. I had never been to a natural hot springs so we went over and checked them out. It’s crazy how hot they are. Felt like we stuck our hands into a hot tub. We didn’t have any desire to get in since it was hot out. It was still very cool to see.
After leaving the hot springs we crossed Rainbow Bridge and also got a view of snow covered Mt Baldy in the distance. We will be heading back up into that very soon. Most of the afternoon was kind of a bummer. The reason I say that is that once we get close to civilization we see a lot of day hikers and unfortunately with that sometimes comes behavior we aren’t fond of. The amount of graffiti that we came across today makes you mad. Why would people come out to a beautiful place like this and not only carry spray paint but then use it on rocks. Ruins it for others who want to come out for the beauty of nature.
The one thing we were kind of dreading today was a river crossing that had been reported by another hiker to be very swift and a bit sketchy. The PCT required us to cross Deep Creek but at the actual spot it was about waist deep or deeper and looked to be swift. We decided to climb up over an opening for the Mojave Damn and found a side stream that was only calf deep. Much safer and worth the climb. Still meant we got to get our feet wet, makes six days in a row.
We now had 4 miles to go to get to camp. We came across some of the most brilliant yellow flowers covering the hill sides and lining the trail that we have seen. This went on until we got to camp. Ran into our fifth garter snake who was sunning on the trail. We have yet to see a rattlesnake which is fine by us. Now it was time to go to work on our air pad. We filled it and I started checking for leaks. Couldn’t find anything, so we are going to keep our fingers crossed it was a freak thing.
There was a great view for dinner just down from our tent. We were making a dehydrated meal for dinner tonight. I got the water boiling and then prepped the package by tearing the top off. As I reached for the boiling water a big gust of wind came up knocking the bag over and dispersing some of the food across the ground. Are you fricking kidding me!! We are so limited on food I wasn’t about to let any of it go to waste. Some crazy red ant made a beeline for the food. Little did he know he didn’t stand a chance against a hungry hiker, so he was quickly tossed to the side. I sorted through the dirt for the lost food while still trying to keep an eye on the boiling water which we had added sausage to. Right after getting everything back in the bag I grabbed the water again but the wind beat me again by blowing the food over AGAIN!!! I was about to loose my marbles when Amy came over to help telling me it was going to be fine. After picking through the dirt again we finally had everything together we needed. That meal had a few hard bits which were rocks instead of black beans but it never tasted so good.
I have been lying on the pad for the last several hours and it remains full. PHEW!!! We have a spot protected from the winds as we can look down upon Hesperia. Although we saw about 70 day hikers today we didn’t come across one other PCTer. Feels like we have the trail to ourselves but we know others are out here with us. We think we are just in the middle of spectate hiking bubbles.
Well thanks again for following along! Link