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Martin "Lei Low" Rolph
City: Cameron Park
Begins: Apr 12, 2008
Entry Visits: 1,202
Journal Visits: 184,855
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Looking Forward to a Rest Day
Deep canyons and long climbs today. I snuck out of camp before the others were stirring this morning. The first order of business was a long descent of Deer Creek Canyon. I passed Adam just breaking camp at one of the only teeny tent sites near the creek. After filling my water bottles in the creek, I tromped endlessly downhill, in and out of many gullies and side canyons. This area is heavily forested and has not been logged. The forest floor is dark and lush with green growth…a preview of what I expect in the Cascades of Oregon and Washington. Many parts of the trail were thick with poison oak. I’m not very susceptible to it, but I still did a strange dance up the trail in an attempt to avoid contact.
Halfway down, I passed a section-hiker named Terry. He's doing a large section from Tahoe to Oregon. Eventually, I reached the McCloud River and Ash Camp, a popular local fishing/camping spot. As expected for a Saturday morning, it was already packed. The river was beautiful and had its usual slightly cloudy appearance from glacial runoff on Mt. Shasta.
The PCT followed the McCloud down-river, staying very high above it. As the river dropped away, a very long, but gentle climb started, winding up to the top of a ridge for about 6 miles. Near the top, I stopped for lunch at a flat, shady spot and nearly fell asleep.
Another big descent followed…very similar to this morning, but warmer. At the bottom of the canyon, I crossed Squaw Creek on a nice bridge. Squaw Creek is another popular locals' spot with good swimming and fishing. Surprisingly, though, no one was there when I arrived. I found a nice spot near the creek and washed up. I decided to eat an early dinner before tackling the final 2,000-foot climb of the day.
The climb up the last ridge before the Sacramento River (and I-5) was steeper than the earlier climbs today. I made slow, steady progress up the 5 miles of climbing. I stopped at a nice flat spot about three-quarters of a mile before Girard Ridge and made camp. Heavy mosquitoes here (again). Like last night, as I’m writing in the tent, DaragonAnt arrived and set up camp just across the trail. Only 12 downhill miles in the morning to meet Dad near the river. A day off will be nice.
Martin "Lei Low"
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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