A quick cool sunny stroll downhill to Deep Creek Bridge, with no real agenda other than walking.
- Date: Thursday April 2, 2015
- Miles hiked: 21.09
- Miles covered: PCT miles 277.4 to 298.49
- Weather Report: Low 33, High 68. Sunny, dry, a slight breeze.
- Wildlife seen: Some blacktailed jackrabbit
- Obsession of the day: Nothing!
- Earworm: Jet Airliner, Steve Miller Band
Yep, that was frost outside on the trees as I peeked outside the flaps, and it's only 33 degrees inside the tent; who knows what it's like outside except cold and a bit windy. Sounds like a good day to just laze about, which I did until 7:30 and decided that the oatmeal in my food bag wasn't going to eat itself and Today Was The Day to finally gulp it down.
One thing that's surprised me is how unhungry I am. I just feel kinda normal--I eat a bit for breakfast, snack on nuts and bars and the like during the day, and have something caloric for dinner, like a Knorr Pasta Side with extra Nido powdered milk goodness, or a box of Near East couscous with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and the occasional topping of crumbled Fritos. Occasionally I really want an orange or a banana or an apple, but those pangs quickly go away. I couldn't even finish my omlette yesterday for breakfast, and left a slice of delicious sourdough toast on the table as well.
I've also noticed is that I'm both a bit more flexible and there's a bit less belly to work around. I reached over to tie my shoes the other day, and went "whoa, I can put my palms flat on the ground." I'm thinking right now I'm still burning off all the extra fat, and the Hiker Hunger isn't too far away but I can't see it on the horizon.
Speaking of food, that burger and sweet potatoe fries and (two) beers at Sandy's Sports Bar, around the corner from the Big Bear Lake hostel, well, it's the meal that keeps on giving. During the hour and a half there I heard a steady stream of #1 DadRock singles from the late 1970s, and today that little 8-track in my head queued up the Steve Miller Band for heavy repeat.
I finally got my butt in gear around 9:15; it had warmed up to 45 degrees and was pleasantly warm in the sun. The trail kept along the Cougar Crest ridgeline, before heading down into what looked like a nice green plush valley on the topo.
It wasn't green when I walked through--I was walking through a forest recovering from a fire three or five years ago, and it was stark for many miles. Finally, around mile 285, unburned areas appeared, and then quickly a lot more tree cover, of black oak and cedar and pine. It was wonderful to walk through, following that valley for several miles, and there was a creek in the bottom that was the most water I'd seen yet; I had to pick and choose my rock hops real carefully to get across.
I wasn't quite sure where to stay for the night, so I kept walking. I also wasn't sure how much water I had--I'd drunk my two outboard SmartWater bottles, and had maybe a liter left in my Platypus bag. I decided to go for it and walk until sunset and find a place around the Deep Creek Bridge. It seems like a place that might not allow camping, and it's at a major trailhead for the Deep Creek Hot Springs. This being a holiday weekend and a full moon, I'd suspect there'd be lots of mischief happening there, and while I'm definitely going to take a dip I definitely want to be away from that area on Friday night.
So walking across the bridge at sunset, I spotted a tiny little shelf fairly far back from the water, and decided that was tonight's camp. I'll make some dinner (couscous, now being consumed :-) ) and blog a little and go to bed... then wake up early and hump it down to the hot springs to enjoy them before the crowds really arrive.