I woke at 0600, but somehow managed not to get out of camp until after 0730. It was a beautiful morning and I was taking it easy. Here’s a picture from the trail looking back at the rocky ridge where I camped:
I glided down to Deep Creek, feeling good. Here’s a view from the bridge:
And then there was this:
For a while it was nice and scenic:
And then it was more like this:
And it was hot! In the 90’s, I’d say. I need to get a thermometer for my pack. The trail was crowded today, and when I went by Deep Creek Hot Springs, Oh My God! It looked like real nice place, but I counted over 30 people and I’m sure I missed a bunch. They were hooting and hollering and it just wasn’t my style, so I glided on by.
I was getting away from the crowd, and feeling good about it, when up ahead I saw fifty or sixty people down in the creek. Not hikers. And then on the trail was this steady stream of people coming to join them. Must have been over a hundred people. Turns out it was a memorial service for their friend who died at the falls. They all looked like High School students and I’m not sure why they weren’t in school on a Wednesday in April, but I can tell you they all wore the same shoes. All one hundred of them.
I finally hiked out of Deep Creek canyon and got a look at the terrain ahead:
I hiked down and tanked up with a bunch of water. I had 16 miles in by 1530, so I took a break in the shade. Nice cool spot. It would have made a nice camp. But I was curious about my progress, and also when I would get to the fabled McDonalds on I15.
Turns out, from that spot, I still had 54 miles to go! With three days left, that’s 18 miles a day. I thought this week was supposed to be relaxing! I don’t know how my math got messed up, but I’m glad I checked. Naturally, I got up and kept walking. I figured I could quit around 1700, but there was nowhere to camp at all.
(Post Trail Edit: I made a math error. Leaving Big Bear I thought 6 days to Wrightwood was 15.5 miles a day. No, it’s 17.7 miles a day. Oops.)
Finally, a little after 1730, I decided to take this very marginal spot. It will do, but not much in the way of amenities. Not all that stealth, but not right on the trail either. Can you see the trail on the left?
So, I’m near mile 317, which means I hiked about 20 miles today. More than I planned, but I don’t want to fall behind since I don’t know how hard the trail up ahead is.
As for McDonalds, it’s 23 miles from me here, which means I will be eating breakfast there. This is horrible news. First, I somehow thought I had put one of my friend Steve’s burritos in my food bag, but apparently not, so I’m one dinner short and I was hoping McDonalds could cover it. Second, I’m not a big breakfast eater at all. While most hikers will put down four or five thousand Calories, breakfast or not, I think that will be tough for me. Not to mention that fast food usually makes me feel sick. I haven’t eaten at McDonalds in over 30 years.
Looks like the clouds are setting up for a nice sunset. I’ll update this post with a photo if it’s worthy.
Edit: Update: Uh huh