Today was the day of the dance of the poodle dog bush. Quietly nestled in our sleeping bags, I was awoken to the mournful sounds of a doe bleating repeatedly. I enjoy nature, but after a while it gets a little repetitive. Sticking our noses out in the morning, it was a chill 3 degrees Celsius. Summoning our courage we packed camp, rubbing our hands and looking for the sun. Our morning hike consisted of contouring up and out of the hills, strolling through burnt out desert scrub. Reaching the top we were rewarded with expansive views over rolling terrain down to the desert floor. On the climb the poodle dog bush began. Twirling and pirouetting around the plants, we admired the bush from a distance. Due to a fire some years ago we had to take an alternative jeep road, as the official PCT trail was closed. Winding our way down we were greeted by three fireman running the other way. The water stop was, not surprisingly, at a fancy, new fire station; it appears to have been constructed after the fire. Meeting Crazy Nuts, he mentioned that not only had he walked the PCT before and was doing it again, but also the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, the GR 5, the Pyrenees Highway and the Te Araroa Trail. Quite a list. Moving on we went up and over more hills smothered in poodle dog bush, ducking and weaving around burnt trees. Lunch was at a clear section underneath a few trees that escaped, but soon found us at the attention of a multitude of ants. Escaping down the trail, we continued to a small stream, filling our bottles. Already reaching our mileage for the day, we wandered up the hill and found a campsite nestled in a small saddle overlooking the desert to the north.
Miles hiked – 19