A Hot One

I didn’t sleep well last night, not sure why. Until about 0430, and then I slept hard and didn’t want to get up. I finally got up at 0700 and hit the trail around 0745, the same as yesterday. I would say by 0800 it was already over 80 degrees, so I missed out on any chance to hike before it got hot.

I wasn’t just sleepy tired, my legs were tired, right from the get go. There was no shade and it was hot and I’m like, “Well, you’re the one that asked for it. Let’s go hike the PCT, you said. Isn’t this what you wanted?” Wrong time for that question. But I just kept walking. I put up my Chrome Dome to try and get relief from the sun, but I think the effect was mostly psychological. It was still really hot!

Heard my first buzzworm today (rattlesnake). Sounded like a hiss, like a gas leak or something. It was ten or fifteen feet off the trail so I went by and as the snake stopped its rattle I heard it slow down to the sound I’m more familiar with.

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The trail went over a ridge and down around the shores of Silverwood Lake. I don’t know where they are getting their water, but the reservoir looks pretty brim full to me. Here’s a photo of the lake. That mountain in the background is where I slept last night:

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All day yesterday and all morning there were a lot of hikers on the trail. But I took a short cut to this picnic area for water (also got rid of all my trash!) and everyone else must have gone the long way because I had the place to myself while I had lunch with my Scrub Jay buddy (he was on it too! I walked maybe twenty feet to the trash can (10 seconds?) and he already had one of my bags pulled down to end of the table! Sorry, little buddy, I don’t feed wildlife.)

Anyway, the afternoon was the opposite. I only saw one hiker, just pulling out of a stream as I was just about to fill up, so I didn’t see them again. It was nice. Seems like hikers tend to bunch up, while I’m pretty steady, so I imagine I’ll be walking in and out of clumps of hikers.

Despite being tired, I felt otherwise pretty good, and made good time. I kept getting to my destinations early. I decided to go for another 20 and got it done in almost exactly ten hours. Since that time includes about an hour of breaks, it seems like I am getting faster. Here’s a shot looking back at where I woke up from later in the day:

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Right around 20 the trail dropped down by a dry arroyo and I knew there would be good stealth camping there. I hiked about a quarter mile upstream looking for the perfect rock to lean on. No one’s going to find me here! I’m right in the sandy streambed, so if there is flash flood tonight, I’ll be washed away, but I’m not too worried. I’m only about five miles from Interstate 15, but thankfully, I can’t hear the traffic, but I know I’m close to civilization because I can hear the huge powerlines humming and the trains blow their whistle every 15 minutes or so.

I thought about powering through. I figure I could make it to the highway by full dark, eat at McDonalds, get a six pack of beer and a room at Best Western, maybe breakfast at the Best Western breakfast buffet before heading out tomorrow. But it’s a little too far, and that sort of thing isn’t really why I came out here. All in good time.

So, about 31 miles to Wrightwood. I’m thinking of pulling big miles again tomorrow so I can get to Wrightwood in time for lunch on Saturday since I’m running low on food. We’ll see what McD’s does to me.

8 thoughts on “A Hot One

  1. Nice lake. If it’s not being used as a reservoir, could that explain the high water level? Could the source be underground? You’re the best person I know to ask!

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  2. Cookies left Evanston Wed AM. Hope Priority mail REALLY has them waiting for you at Wrightwood! ! Nice finish to that lunch ; or in lieu of lunch …!!

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