Friday, May 11, 2012

Day 20-Nine Hikers Under a Bridge

Deep Creek Hot Springs at 308 to Silver Lake at 328

I woke up and had oatmeal in bed, packed up, and made for the hot springs.  Steam was floating off the top and the sun wasn't over the ridge yet.  It was the perfect time to hike, but an even better time to enjoy the hot spring.  I gave myself a pass on the up early out of camp early routine.  It's not often I get to enjoy a hot spring while thru-hiking.

As it was, I left camp at quarter of 8, so not exactly a late start.  It was hot though, and the guide book warns that the rest of the hike to Wrightwood is a hot, exposed one.  At least there was plenty of water today.

The first 10 miles went by pretty quick.  Four of us clustered up under a patch of shade right past the 10 mile mark.  I ate a protein bar that I didn't know I had until I started digging to the bottom of my food bag looking for a Snickers bar.  We thought we were about a mile from a creek, but it turns out we were minutes away from it, and it would have made a much better break place.  So I took a second break.  I got my water, put my feet in the water-not as good as the hot springs, but it did the trick.

Upon leaving I dunked my hat in the creek hoping it would keep me cooler-it was dry within a mile and I was cooking.  It was 12:30 and when it's that hot I can't help but think of the next break in the shade.  Every time the trail went through a shady spot I'd walk a little slower, maybe pause for a drink of water.  

The trail came down to a road that I had been listening to all afternoon and there was a bridge.  I saw Woodstock Willy's pink shirt from up on the hill and quickened my pace.  Where there's one hiker under a bridge there will be many hikers.  I think the most we had under there was nine hikers.  I stayed long enough to have lunch and then need a snack before setting off with half the group.

It wasn't long after leaving the bridge than we came across a cooler full of fresh fruit.  I had half a dozen strawberries and a couple pieces of pineapple.  It was a nice bit of magic, and really unexpected.

The trail followed some power lines and then cut down to this beautiful lake that took me completely by surprise (and this was after sitting under a bridge that looked at the backside of a dam and talking about Silver Lake camp for the night).  It looked like the trail was going to follow the lake for the last five miles of the day.

I ended up bushwhacking down to a boating picnic area and beach with Tommy.  We hung out there for awhile with a group of guys out with their boat.  At one point one of the guys pulled out a giant sub-they thing looked like a cake at first it was in a big plastic container.  He wanted to know if either of us were hungry, and of course I was.  It was a great pre-dinner dinner.

The guys ended up giving us a ride over to the day use area the trail goes past.  It was pretty fun being on a boat.  The lake was even bigger than I thought-it had all these little bays with beaches.  The guys said it is a real popular place for people to go to get out of LA.

After the five minute ride we found the rest of our group at the picnic area in the process of making dinners.  While my dinner cooked I took stock of my food-I have even more than I thought.  I have a bag with two dinners in it that I didn't know about, and more bars than I want to eat in the next two days.

A coyote ran through the parking lot at dust.  Most of us left the day use area and set up camp out of sight of the parking lot behind some willows.  It's a really warm night so far, and I'm hoping it doesn't cool off too much.

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