Sunday, May 3, 2015

Day 16 - Hard day on easy trail

Friday, May 1

I woke up at 5 AM and had a "come to God" session with my trail snacks. I laid out 5 days worth of snacks. The extra ones got the axe.

The sunrise was spectacular.

I was on the trail by 6 AM. It was an easy day in that the trail was mostly downhill. Unfortunately I am having lower back pain, so I have to stop to rest every 45 minutes. That makes for slow miles.

I don't think I mentioned it before, but "No Trace" had been helping me adjust my pack. He noticed that my pack hangs crooked on my back; kind of lopsided. He contacted ULA customer service for me, and I got an email from them asking about my problem. No Trace is convinced that there was a manufacturing error. I replied to their email and hope there might be a way to fix it. Anyway, I wonder if that might be why my lower back hurts?

The trail today wound through miles and miles of burnt forest. It is so sad to see so many trees charred and blackened.

I did see a large jackrabbit.

Later on I saw a bush with pretty yellow blossoms.

Sometimes I see a beautiful butterfly.

By noon I passed the 300 mile mark.

Eventually the trail started following Deep Creek, which flows through a narrow canyon for 14 miles. A hiker several years ago fell to his death on this section of the trail, so I carefully watched my footing. This is a view of the creek from the trail.

I stopped to cook my dinner where a bridge crosses over the creek. I try to do my cooking where there is water so I don't have to carry water for cooking. This is a view of the creek and bridge.

I would have liked to have made it to the Deep Creek Hot Springs, but there is no camping allowed within a mile of the hot springs. This is a "clothes optional" hot springs, so I will likely get there early tomorrow morning. Perhaps a soak in the warm water will help my back.

I am camped tonight by a lovely stream among huge boulders. Two of the guys that I met in Big Bear are camped here too...Marathon John and Lucky.

I am at PCT mile 306.1, elevation 3,697 feet.

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