Long, hot grinding hiking characterized this segment. Awaking to a pleasantly cool morning by the shores of the stream, we gathered our gear and set off to hike through the canyon before it got too hot. Winding along the wall of the canyon we could see a narrow green necklace below us as we pushed through desert scrub. Stopping at a steam edge for morning tea, we were once again joined by SWC, who must have come from somewhere near our campsite up near Splinters Cabin. We had also now walked into a different group of hikers, not recognizing most we saw. Further on we passed the hot spring that is extremely popular on weekends, and being a Sunday was packed with thru-hikers and day hikers enjoying both hot and cold swimming. Deciding that it was a little to rambunctious for us, we continued on. Passing a women going south, we later realized it was the first women to hike the PCT solo. Crossing the stream we then headed into a windless canyon, where the temperature got very hot. Reaching the end, we marveled at the giant wall built to house a reservoir. Unfortunately, this entire basin was bone dry. With the stream still winding its way below, we decided on lunch under one piece of narrow shade. Unfortunately, we were joined by a bunch of people enjoying their ATV’s in the nearby stream-bed. This gave a somewhat stark contrast to the recent weeks of hiking in more remote areas. The presence of mountain bikes on the trail, which are illegal, was also somewhat souring. With the heat bearing down on us in the valley, we lost the trail with all vehicle tracks, and after climbing over a metal railing and across the stream, the PCT was found on the opposite hill. Soon after we encountered another trail angel named Shepard, who offered Sole Catcher and Rattles their first root beer float. With the extra calories sinking in we headed up into the hills to roll around the valley. Feeling the heat and lack of water, I was soon appreciating the cooler evening temperatures as the sun dropped in the sky. Reaching a small saddle, we found a campsite nestled in the shrub, and after eating dinner fell asleep with some rapidity after a long, hot day. I know it is late, but I added some photos of desert wildflowers for Mothers Day.
Miles hiked – 23