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City: San Diego
Begins: May 1, 2012
Date: Tue, May 22nd, 2012
Start: Big bear
End: Hiker Heaven
Entry Visits: 3,563
Journal Visits: 8,560
Guestbook Views: 523
Guestbook Entrys: 7
Stories from the Poodle Dog Bush
The hike from Big Bear to Cajon Pass was relatively easy. It was fairly cool and the trail was good. I Hiked out with Atlas, Mother Goose and Upside Down. We walked to the edge of the burn area and made camp. The next morning, I made tracks to Little bear Trail Camp for breakfast and began the days hike along Holcomb Creek! The only excitement was that I temporarily lost the trail at a road junction. Thanks to my new GPS I walked back to the trail and the day went on without trouble! We all agreed early on that we were going to meet and camp at Splinters Cabin, where Deep Creek heads into the canyon.
The next day, we begin the hike along Deep Creek. Its an easy, canyon crawl most of the day and relatively cool for the first hours of the day. As I arrive near the Hot Springs, Its starting to really get hot and I find Trail magic! Ice Cold oranges, and frozen gatorade! The rest of the day it would be blisteringly hot as the trail crossed to the other side of the canyon providing little to no shade from the mid day sun. I pass what seems like dozens of people on their way to the hot springs, some packing nothing but a towel...Its no short walk to this area and I wonder what they must be thinking to themselves as they arrive several hot miles later to their destination.
At this point, I am moving at a very fast pace, trying to get to the mojave forks dam, where I know there is a shady spot to spend a couple of hours. The highlight of the day is my wet feet as I ford the narrow, but fast moving Deep Creek to meet up with the trail on the other side. I see a sandy, shady spot where I promply unload my pack from my back and take off my shoes. Its not long before Atlas Arrives, then soon after, Mother Goose. Upside Down decided earlier on to dial back a little on her mileage so she was about a day behind us by this time.
We all sit there for a while, waiting on the heat to subside then one by one, we head another mile to our campsite for the night. Along the way, at hwy 173, Shepherd is providing trail magic-hot Dogs, Ice Cream, Soda and homemade potato salad! We catch her as she is about to pack up for the day! It was a wonderful end to a very hot afternoon!
After filling our stomachs, its on to the water cache, where we find a spot to set up and camp for the night. Tomorrow brings a day of contouring in and out of drainages on the way to Silverwood lake. You could almost throw a stone to the trail from one side of the drainage to the other, but you go sometimes a half mile or more into the gorge and back out then do it all over again for several miles! When I arrived at Ceder Springs Dam, I crawled under the bridge to escape the heat and had some lunch. It was really neat to watch all the different species of birds that were feeding on the insects in this very unique riparian habitat on the edge of the desert. Most were migratory birds from central and south america that I had never seen before.
Soon, I hear the sound of trekking poles and feet on the pavement above me. I yell..Is that you atlas? He answers and comes down to join me for a cool break. soon tho, we are continuing on our way as I am looking forward to relaxing at Cleghorn Picnic area for the rest of the afternoon. The Trail once again provided magic, just before the climb up and over the mountain to the lake on the other side. Fresh Fruit, hard boiled eggs and such... So nice! At this point, I was really craving a cold soda... As luck would have it, there are lake users day camping on a beach fifteen feet off the trail. I see them from half a mile away and my plan begins to form...As I approach, I say" I will give you Five Dollars for a Cold Soda!" They are more than willing to provide me with an ice cold sprite from their cooler and graceous enough to refuse the five dollars I previously offered. It went down in two gulps and I suddenly had another wave of energy to get me around the hot hills that encompass the lake. Soon I am arriving at cleghorn picnic area where I relax until atlas and mother goose arrive, then we head another couple of miles to our campsite for the night.
The following day brings McDonalds, Subway, Del Taco and a room at the Best Western-Cajon Pass. Along the way, I pass Billy Goat. After a quick conversation, I charge on. Town is a carrot on a stick for me...even if its just three fast food joints and three gas stations. I arrive in time for breakfast at Mc Donalds and proceed to the hotel to pay for our room the three of us decide to share. Its a good price at 25 bucks a person for a three queen room. Showered and refreshed, I wash my laundry and wait for my compadres to arrive...
The next day, we head out after stopping at Mc Donalds for breakfast. Its an easy climb up and over some small foothills to the water cache in swarthout canyon where I find a nice rest and goodies to refresh my dry throat-Cherry Calistoga and oranges! I met one of the ladies who maintains the cache and had a nice conversation. I thank her for providing to hikers and begin my climb up towards Wrightwood.
Its an all day climb to Gobblers knob where we plan to camp for the night. However, just before I reach our planned camp I forget one crucial piece of information... the road walk-detour around a heavy Poodle dog bush bloom. I am in shorts and by the time I realize what happened Its too little too late. I do my best to dance around it, keeping it off my legs. I step to the edge of the trail as I try to walk around a large bush of it when the trail gives way under my feet and poles and down I go! I get scraped up and disoriented for a moment then pick up and carry on. all I can think of is.. I hope I didn't get any poodle dog on me! soon after coming out of the burn area I stop to scrub my legs in hopes of removing any toxins I may have picked up on this portion of the trail.
The next day brings me into Wrightwood. As I make my way down to Hwy 2, all I can think of is a burger and beer at the Yodler! I wait about half and hour for a ride when a San Bernardino County Sherriff volunteer search and rescue officer stops to give me and another hiker a ride into town! He drives us to the Yodler and I order food and Drink! Marmite and Sherpa are sitting there, so I join them for lunch. Soon, Mother goose arrives and she does the same. I decide to head out that same day, while my friends stay in town. After Resupplying, I get a ride out to the trail and camp at Inspiration point. The next day I prepare to summit Mt Baden Powell. Its gruelling, but worth every step!
coming down from Baden Powell, I make my way to Islip saddle where I intend to camp for the night. The next day brings a long road walk as I do an endangered species detour. I do not want to take the 20 mile detour, as it takes us down to the desert and back up again...not something I really want to do. i walk to Cloudburst summit and once again pick up the trail. In a few miles I arrive at the last crossing of HWY 2 where I decide to take the 1.8 mile detour to Newcombs Ranch Restaraunt and have a burger and a beer! YUM!
In a couple of hours I am back at the trail and heading to my intended camp site near Sulpher Springs. It gets really cold that night, 22 degrees. The Next day will bring me to another road walk around poodle dog bush. Its so thick in the station fire burn area that its almost unavoidable. It doesn't really go away until North fork ranger station and even then, its still present on the trail.
After a night at the Acton KOA, I walk to the Agua Dulce for a could days of R&R at the Hiker Heaven! I don't have any intention of hiking the station fire burn area for atleast 10 years...it was just a depressing collection of detours, charred trees and poodle dog bush..
Soup's Big Adventure
The truly simple life exists within the zippers of my backpack,powered by my own legs, burning only natural fuel, leaving no trace I was ever there.
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