Pretty sure I’m the only one who wakes up this early, I’m very motivated to push the miles in the morning before it gets to hot. Today is no different, up at 530 and hiking by 630.
After hiking one mile the trail is closed due to the endanger Mountain Yellow Frog. It’s been closed this time of year since 2011 due to near extinction and this portion of PCT is its prime habitat. There are several alternate options, I chose the 5 mile road walk along highway 2 hoping there would be limited traffic this early in the morning. I was wrong…I saw the same groupings of motorcycles and sportscars racing. Thankfully the shoulders were wide enough.
I entered back on the trail at mile 398, it was still cool but it quickly became intensely warm, despite sunscreen I still fry. The trail slowly descends out of high desert forests only to regain elevation. My focus for the day is hiking to the next water source. Sometimes its a strong flowing creek and sometimes it’s having to use a baggie to collect from small flowing pools. Thankfully nothing longer than 10 miles, but even that feels long when it’s so hot. This portion of the trail also has oodles of poodle dog bush…a noxious plant found in California years after a burn. It smells like skunk or pot but can cause a bad skin reaction if touched. It was pretty easy to avoid but I had to be full on alert.
In comparison to yesterday the wind was almost none existent but the overgrowth prevented me from using my umbrella, thankfully I bought a sun hat in Wrightwood…at least I had some protection. Where I camped centered around distance between water sources for determining the amount of extra water I needed to carry to dry camping. I had two options within 1.25 miles and chose the latter. I arrive at the site by 345pm. I eat, stretch and set up camp. I am camped alone, not my preferred especially after a day of not seeing another hiker. It’s still early, maybe somebody will show up.