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City: Rancho Palos Verdes
Begins: May 9, 2009
Date: Mon, Jul 27th, 2009
Start: Baum Lake
End: Between Rock Creak and Peavine Creek
Daily Distance: 20
Trip Distance: 1,433.0
Entry Visits: 731
Journal Visits: 132,521
Guestbook Views: 13,620
Guestbook Entrys: 182
Round the world in 80 days - I guess I'm falling a tad short of that mark.
It was a noisy morning with all the wildlife on the preserve around Baum Lake. I just laid in the tent as the sun came up listening to all the new bird songs that I hadn't heard heretofore. It was quite a chorus. The net result was that I was up and out a little late but it didn't matter as I had a short 10 miles to Burney Falls where I intended to have lunch.
The tread was quite easy compared to yesterday and the trail went through forest all the way. Some of it had been decimated by a recent fire but the rest looked healthy. I got to Burney Falls State Park around 11:30 am - fortunately it's still open and not yet a casualty of Arnold's budget axe. I found old fashioned smoothie ice cream in the store so my first purchase was their largest cone of a vanilla and chocolate twist. They had a power socket outside so I parked my pack right beside it and plugged in the phone charger.
I then retrieved my resupply box and sorted out my food on the low wall outside the store. This created a lot of questions from people and I had to explain the PCT and what I was attempting to a number of them. One kid was a boy scout so I spent some time with him showing him my lightweight cooking system - he was very impressed I think based on the number of times he said "wow" and "cool". Then I supplemented the food with extra M&M's and Milky Way candy bars and bought a Mountain Dew and another large smoothie twist.
I was getting hungry by now and as I had some excess food, I decided I could get more nutrition by cooking it than ordering from the small snack bar. Also meant I didn't have to carry it. So I went down to the base of Burney Falls where it was at least 20 deg cooler from all the evaporative cooling of the spray from the falls. They were spectacular and just as impressive as Glen Aulin Falls. And there I cooked lunch on the rocks enjoying the spray in my face. It was very refreshing and I sat there for a couple of hours. I read that just a mile upstream this 100 million gallons per day water flow is all underground and you can see in the picture that all the flow across the face except for the two major falls is actually flowing out of the cliff. Fascinating place - I wish I could have stayed longer or better still camped there for a night. But press on I must.
What a contrast the afternoon was from the morning. First, there was significant climbing to do. It was actually a welcome relief from the flat forest hiking. I feel I am back in the mountains again - steep ridges and creeks down in the valleys. It was still very hot so it was tough climbing and at times I felt I was back in Southern California.
I then came across the dam and of course the engineer in me required I study its design. It created Lake Britten which is filled by the flow from Burney Falls. The trail had me walk across the dam and it was interesting and picturesque, especially the Pit River beyond the dam as it snaked its way through the deep canyon. There was some construction work in progress on the other side and I had to dodge a big concrete truck as it was about to fill the next section of roadway.
And then the climbing began to get serious. I was looking at the data book and I will get back to over 6000 ft by tomorrow from just below 3000 ft at Burney Falls. It was very dry and the first water was at Rock Creek. When I got there I was somewhat surprised by the significant flow - it was just like a creek in the Sierras. Fortunately there was a bridge over it so no fording was required. I decided it was too late to get to the next creek so I loaded up with three liters to cover the overnight needs. This all made the pack even heavier for the upcoming climb. Always seems to work out that way, doesn't it.
As the evening wore on if I had wanted to camp early I couldn't and when I did decide I'd had enough I still couldn't. The trail was cut into a steep ridge that went on for at least three miles. Eventually there was a small clearing with an established camp site which I immediately decided was mine for the night.
Mad Dogs & Englishmen
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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