Worked out that I will have to leave the trail at Scissors Crossing on Wednesday. My goal of Warner Springs will have to be left for another time.
Had my pack all ready to go for the morning. Jumped out of bed at 5:30a, showered, and was out of the place by 6:30ish. Was all layered up due to the chill, but at least no rain. The big challenge on this segment will be water. There are only three somewhat reliable places between mile 40 (Laguna) and 75 (Scissors Crossing). So I guzzled almost 2 literes before leaving and had 2 liters in the platypus + 3L in bottles.
What would have made it a GREAT start would be a breakfast burrito at this place….
Munching granola bars, I reconnected to the trail and headed south. The scenery was groovy. Wet, but no standing water. Pine trees in the mist. Cool brisk morning. Pink Floyd was the right music to power this segment.
I was making good time but my zen kept getting interrupted by 5 minute warnings from my phone about pending calls on my work calendar. 7:25 ding….Support Escalations call. 8:55 ding…something or other, 9:55 ding…our daily QA call. Forgot to delete all this stuff before I left, so I got a chuckle out of it all.
Around 9:30, I stopped at mile 48. This place was supposed to have a working faucet. I kept stomping on valve, but no water. Opened up the ground cover hatches and finally found the culprit. Valve was closed and the good people of the park service had put a gigantic lock on it. Thanks alot.
Decided it was time for a little brunch. This was where I spent my time during the daily QA call. Maybe I should mark my time in the future based on things I would normally be doing at work?
Walked along for a bit and ran into a Luke and his dog out for a day hike. Nice kid had a good chat. He blew past me and never saw him again.
Next attempt for water was at 52’s Pioneer picnic area. Only thing I found was a horse trough with some water from a rusted tank on the hill. By then I was down to 2 Liters, so I loaded up on the horse water. Hope my filter works.
I ran into a fox watching me from a rock in the middle of the trail. His head was poked up above a bolder only 30 feet in front of me. Perfect picture. So I grabbed my iphone, got through the password, turned on the camera, and….the f^$%#ing thing started prompting me to reconfirm my iCloud email / password. By the time I figured out wtf was going on the fox took off. I snapped a couple of photos of him climbing the rocks. If you can find him in the picture, you get a prize. Thanks alot Apple.
Here is a cool pano of around the area where the fox may or may not have been seen.
The trail was a mixture of easy walking, sandy/smooth rock and sprinkled with a sections of densely spaced, loose, fist-sized rocks on steep downward slopes. There was little room to manuever, so I kept having visions of making the wrong step choice and ending up with a twisted ankle. Had a couple close calls here.
I’m realizing that to do this hike, I have to keep up a brisk pace (~3 mph or so). Given the trail is almost all single-track, it requires a lot of concentration. I tend to only look about 10 to 15 feet in front of me and I’m always thinking about the next 2 to 3 steps I’ll take. If I give more than a glance at the scenary, there is a danger of making the wrong step. I almost rolled my ankle on one of those moments. The only time to take it all in is during the pauses, otherwise it has to be concentration on the next step.
I find it fascinating that this is similar to off-roading on my GS or snow skiing. All three activities have a cone allowable action where the actor can adjust the motion of the object (me) with the terrain limited by physics (weight, speed, and vector). Off a bit and it can be corrected. Off a lot and you crash the bike, splatter on the slopes, or, in this particular case, roll your ankle and press the SOS button on the Delorme. For hiking the cone seems to extend no more than 10 feet, for skiing moguls (at my skill level) it is about 20, and for Enduro riding on this kind of trail it woud be about 50 to 75 feet. I’d like to get into my theory about the width of the cone in this model, but you are bored already.
Anyway after things are dialed in and working on semi-automatic, I get into a zone where a portion of the visual/cognitive gray matter is dealing with the present while some leftover bit is available to wonder about other stuff. What to write on this blog. Who comes out here and works on these miles and miles of trail. Why my wife puts up with all my shenanigans. Is Pink Floyd’s music better without Roger Walters (I think yes, btw).
And that is the cool thing about hiking. I get to hang out with this wierd bit of myself.
So, I found this toothbrush on the trail.
For miles I’ve seen only one set of fresh North bound footprints. The guy (I think) is wearing heavy boots and using poles. I grabbed the toothbrush hoping to reunite the two and get a good story + pic. Well the boot prints headed off to Sunrise Trailhead at mile 59 and the toothbrush was left on a conspicuous rock.
Kept hiking through dusk. I like night hiking with the headlamp. Limits visual interference in the cone. What cone? Go back and reread my hiking theory!!!!
Had a nice view of San Diego’s lights in the distance from a ridge top. My photography skills blow, so here is a black picture with a smear of light for your amusement.
Found some really nice campsites next to a wash in a deep valley around mile 63. I have a bad feeling this the mico-climate here is going to be colder than the surrounding area, but it is too good to pass up. Did 22 miles today ! Only ~13 more till my pickup.