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Martin "Lei Low" Rolph
City: Cameron Park
Begins: Apr 12, 2008
Entry Visits: 1,206
Journal Visits: 184,859
Guestbook Views: 5,677
Guestbook Entrys: 35
Shady Bliss and Fly Hell
I suppose there was no way to escape southern California without experiencing the infamous heat. One disadvantage to spending the night at Lake Hughes was the 2.5-mile walk back to the trail. It was still relatively cool at 7AM when I left the hotel, so I decided to not even try for a hitch. After an orange juice from the General Store, the walk took only 45 minutes.
Picking up the trail where I left off, the climbing started immediately. It was surprisingly hot climbing the first 2 miles from the road. Fortunately, near the ridge top, the breeze kicked in and the easier grade made for bearable hiking. Most of the morning was spent traversing up the ridge on Sawmill Mountain. Eventually, the trail traversed across some north-facing slopes, with welcome shade from oaks and conifers. The shade came with a price, however. Except where the wind was strong, all of the shady areas were teeming with annoying little flies that would try desperately to fly up my nose, and into my mouth and eyes.
At 1:30PM I stopped for a break, intending to wait until evening before hiking again. I ate and took a short nap, then boredom got me moving again at 4PM. At the dirt road junction there was one last Anderson water cache with five fresh 2.5-gallon jugs.
I hiked on, alternating between shady bliss and fly hell until I got to the base of the Liebre Mountain climb. I was dreading this climb, but it wasn't too bad. There was some shade and plenty of breeze. I was pretty pooped from the warm hiking when I finally got a cell phone signal strong enough to call and say hi to Boulderbunny.
The area around the top of Liebre Mountain has been severely damaged by motorcyclists cutting trails every-which-way. They've also been tearing up the PCT - right past the 20 or so signs that clearly say No Motor Vehicles Allowed.
I continued on another 2 miles to the Bear Trail Camp. On a weekend, it is probably overrun with the OHV crowd, but on a Thursday evening it is only me and numerous pairs of quail. There are picnic tables and a really gross pit toilet. But no water. It's pretty warm tonight, and the no-see-ums were feasting on my legs, so I put the tent up. A half-day tomorrow will take me down to the Antelope Valley and a short rest stop at Hiker Town.
Martin "Lei Low"
P.S. Almost forgot - 500 miles done. Yay!!!
Tales From The Crest
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org
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