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Re: My Hike down the PCT

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April 13, 2002 08:44PM
Its early monday morning, I have to claw my way back to the trail from my camp spot down by the river side. I hope to see a deer or two this crisp morning, it's amazing how easy it is to wake up at first light when camping in the outside.
The trail is meandering along side the river down below; the wild, free flowing river is sometimes loud, sometimes very quiet. This section of trail I have never been down before. The previous 3 or 4 miles I'm very familiar with, due to my extensive fly fishing of it 7-8 years ago, back then the river bottom was all sand and smooth river rock from the El Nino rains of those years. Now there is an amazing amount of algae and aquatic grasses. The fishing in the creek is just wonderful. The fish range any where from 8" to 15", rainbow trout being the most common fish in the daytime and brown trout being more of a nightime hunter. I've seen 5 lb brown trout in the creek with my own eyes, sunning itself atfer a full moon feeding on small fish , mice and frogs. You can usually find them in the biggest pools under the biggest rocks if they let you! You might be able to catch a juvenile brown with a blind cast over a boulder, always remember to fish barbless hooks and keep the hands clean and wet when handling them. Play them fast and always practice catch and release, may the fish god bless you with bright, white tip rainbows and red spotted browns.
When I was researching hiking trails in this mountain range, being the beginning of the hiking season, I wanted something easy and close to water. Deep Creek by all means fit perfect into my needs. On map it looked like a smooth all downhill hike from top to bottom and I even got a chance to soak my trail tired bones into a beloved hot spring. I'm guessing on mileage due to the fact I'm to busy looking for rattle snakes to pay attention to mileage, but I'm thinking the next 3-4 miles will be all downhill right to the springs, wrong! Due to the many sheer rock walls and canyons leading into the creek drainage system, the trails climbs quite often and skirts many canyons going deep inside and back out again. Not crossing any major water crossing since my start; you have Holcomb creek that runs most of the year, but that's at the beginning of the trail on the opposite side. Hey look there's a tick climbing up my unprotected leg, that can't be good, no snakes though, I wander why to early in the season? Mornings too cold? Or did the fire, that was very large and fast kill so many animals off that there's not enough resources to substain a large population.
My first open, flat easy access to the water down below, I push on picking future camping spots. About a half mile or so down the trail I come across a small blackish creek, I push on. D.O.G seems to be having fun chasing the lizards that hang out on the trail, seems to me these lizards must be the juveniles of the many lizard tribes that populate the many cracks and crevices of this mountainous area. Daring each other who can come the closest to sure death by hanging on a rock too close to the trail or running straight down the trial with D.O.G in hot pursuit. About 200 yards from the creek walking up another incline, I come across a flat face rock that reads in black burnt wood writing "DOWNHILL MY ASS" it brings a smile to my face.
I keep thinking around the next bend will be the hot springs, better stop that, it's not working. So I pick the furthest peak and say, "there make it to that peak around those bends and there will be the hot springs." Well I did this a couple of times and this method was not working either.
I finally come across a large clean looking stream crossing the trail just in time; D.O.G and I need some water. She lays in the first pool, so I hop up to the next pool upstream, what does she do? She jumps into that pool, so this go's on for 3 more pools, finally she's comfortable with being 4 feet away from me I have to guess; she's still reeling from the mountian lion episode last night. I believe this is Willow creek, this must of been a welcoming site before the fire burned all the surrounding pines, redwoods and oaks down. Just on the other side of Willow creek is a melted forest service sign, amazing to see a perfect brown painted sign with it's white plastic covering turned to yellow; somewhat lava flowing looking heat warped goo, for lack of a better word.
Walking down the trail I start to notice more human foot traffic down on the beaches below lots of trails going up and around the pools below. Getting closer to the springs! Wizard my new friend, via DCHS forum had pictures of this wood bridge going nowhere. What this is, is a large oiled plank of wood that over the years had made it's way down stream. I remember walking over this plank 8 years ago upstream under the first bridge crossing of Deep Creek of the PCT by Lake Arrowhead, I hated that plank due to the smell of carsenigenic oils that would seep from it always leaving a perpetual oil slick in the stream. The foot trails are going up and down every embankment on every turn in the trail getting closer I can feel it!
As I peek around a bend in the trail I spy a ridge that looks familiar to me, the last part of the Bowens Ranch trail that leads to the springs, YYYYEEEESSSS I have made it to the hot springs!!!!
SubjectAuthorViewsPosted

My Hike down the PCT

keepitclean 538April 08, 2002 06:05PM

Re: My Hike down the PCT

keepitclean 412April 10, 2002 12:09PM

Re: My Hike down the PCT

Wizard 348April 10, 2002 08:10PM

Re: My Hike down the PCT

katrina 345April 11, 2002 12:43AM

Re: My Hike down the PCT

keepitclean 328April 13, 2002 08:44PM

Re: My Hike down the PCT

Wizard 293April 14, 2002 12:10PM

Re: My Hike down the PCT

Wizard 592April 14, 2002 12:54PM



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