Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wet Feet

May 14: Mission Creek isn't an especially large creek, but at some sections, it's difficult to cross without getting ones feet wet. When I passed Billy Goat going southbound the day before (he's something of a hiking legend, and I had met him a few summers back while doing trail work with the WTA, although he wouldn't have remembered that), he told me that we'd have to cross Mission Creek 21 times. So I was fully prepared to get my feet wet, and have them wet for most of the day.

Apparently, I'm the only person who got that message. Other hikers I caught up to seemed shocked at the water crossings. It was easy to lose the trail at times as well--the creek moves around from year to year, wiping out parts of the trail. If you can't find the trail immediately, slogging through the rivershed without the trail can be tough going. Getting lost was never a problem--just follow the creek upstream. It was figuring out where the trail went that was tricky. It would always show up before too long, however.

I counted thirty (THIRTY!) crossings of Mission Creek. I'm not sure how Billy Goat got through with just 21, but then, he is the king of hiking. He probably has some tricks up his sleeve that I haven't learned yet.

Being deep in the canyon was a welcome change from the day before since it meant that I was largely in shade nearly the entire morning. My mood was much better today, though ironically, many of the hikers I passed had the opposite feeling. Perhaps because they weren't expecting such slogging through the river like I was.

Along the dried riverbed, some hikers drew graffiti into the dirt. This one made me laugh. It's simple, but hard to argue with. Usually hikers obsess about food and running water, but I guess one still had his mind on other matters.... (No, really, it wasn't me that wrote the message, but I do agree with the sentiment whole-heartedly!)

I took a long three-hour lunch break at Creekside Camp, which was shaded by trees and actually got so cool, I pulled out my sleeping bag to wrap around myself to stay warm.

I pushed on, though, planning to stop at a trail junction with the CRHT trail. There was no water there--no mosquitoes!--and I hoped the lack of water would help get me out of the herd I was hiking in. It didn't work, though--six others ended up stopping at the same place I did. Still, the herd was thinning with each passing day. The trail had also climbed to about 8000 feet once again here, which was definitely a lot cooler than the lowlands by I-10. Small patches of snow dotted the area, so even if there was no water, it could be had easily enough.

It was a great place to camp, though. Life is good! With good weather in the forecast, I didn't bother with setting up my tarp.


Danny said...

The I Heart Boobs graffiti is also a reference to a SNL Jeopardy skit where a fake Sean Connery answered final jeopardy with that same answer.

Really enjoying reading about this hike! At least no Alabama moments so far!

Anonymous said...

Ok, who is getting Ryan a "I Love Boobs" shirt?

I think I need to at least make a LTC. : )

Seriously, if you would have had a shirt like this on the Florida Trail you would not have had any problems in Alabama!
Save travels,
Ona Journey

Anonymous said...

Unless on of you went above the headwaters of the creek, you should have both crossed it and odd or even number of times no matter what.

Unknown said...

I am wondering about you running into southbounders this early in your hike. Did they hike the first 3/4 of the PCT through deep snow?

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

That tree log looks like a pair of men's boxers.

Hike On!
~Twinville Trekkers

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I meant tree stump....

Hike On!
~Twinville Trekkers