The mornings red glow illuminated the walls of our tent when we awoke this morning. After one of the best nights for sleeping the sun came over the hill and through the trees at the perfect time. Still somewhat sleepy and hesitant to leave our wonderful campsite, we donned our gear and headed back to the trail. Very quickly we left our leafy abode and walked into a burnt out landscape only just beginning to return to green. Weaving in and out of rolling hills, we dropped towards a canyon. Along the way we stopped when we spotted a small herd of deer moving eerily through the bleached white trees just off the trail. Reaching water, we met Paradox, two retired family doctors from Washington state, who had convinced their wives to let them walk a section of the trail. Ambling on, we threaded through the canyon, crossing the stream that ran at the bottom several times, a novelty after almost three weeks in the desert. Stopping for lunch by the creek, we were in no hurry as we had already covered 14 miles. Full of food, we soon left the beautifully green landscape and plunged once more into desert terrain. Water was acquired from a small stagnant pool that required a fair amount of filtering and purification. Carrying a lot of water, we found within three miles that we had come across the wonderfully flowing Deep Water Creek. This put us past our 18 mile average we needed to maintain to get to Wrightwood, and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to wash our feet. Sole Catcher was also keen enough to go for a swim, where he was joined by a nearby dog belonging to one of the numerous day hiker groups. Resting on the stone beach, plagued only by bugs, we spent the rest of the afternoon drying washed socks and appreciating such an oasis in the desert. A little later we were joined again by Paradox, who braved the surprisingly cold temperature of the stream for a swim. One of them mentioned a French man who is attempting to walk the trail with two donkeys. He intends to go all the way to Canada, and then back down the Continental Divide Trail, continuing on all the way to Chille. His experience with donkeys before he started – none. Paradox continued on down the trail and apart from various groups of people of all stripes coming by, we had a very peaceful evening.
Miles hiked – 18