I woke early and got moving! The late start the day before had me a little groggy and unmotivated to press down on the miles, so I figured a presunrise start would do me some good. It was such a nice morning! I was protected down in the canyon from any weather and my only accompanyment was the gurgle from the trailside creek.
I trekked on, passing tent after tent where other PCTers slumbered, it felt really nice to be moving early. Something about watching the golden hour of the sunrise was magical. I rounded a courner and saw Matt, just getting up and starting his coffee. I was in such a good moving mood that I only stayed for a moment before pressing on.
Surprise note from my friend Marcella, what a nice find!!!
The views were awesome, the higher I hiked, the more I could see. Snowcapped hillsides came into view and finally so did a burn area. It had already started to recover, shrubs and low plants were coming through popping with fresh green. A few of the old soldier pines still stood, half burnt, yet keeping the green of their needles, standing big and strong. Most of the other strees were fully burnt, leaving only a hard white skeleton standing upright. A few trees had fallen obstructing the trail and I carefully stepped over the obstacles.
Soon coming into a clearing I saw Jason again. “Hey man!!” He exclaimed when he saw me. We caught up for a few minutes as I gathered some water. After a bit we said farewell and I pressed the final miles up to Mission Springs Trail Camp. What a nice place, a cool spring flowed nearby and pines shaded the area.
I decided to hike up an old logging road to higher ground so perhaps I could get signal and call Nick, who was driving out the next day to meet me. With little luck I had success and got through. After making one or two other calls I pitched my tent and set up for the night. The views from the mount were awesome, I could see San Jacinto, and all the way down into Palm Springs. Another great day!
Pitch & Mustang – A father daughter team coming out of Alberta Canada. Yes, they had an accent, and were super friendly. They told me about the crap winters they have had this season and how it was unseasonably cold and snowey. Mustang had completed a bunch of research on the long distance trails in the US and after seeing that the PCT had the much less rainfall than the AT, she convinced her dad that this was the one. Hiking home, thats gotta be a good feeling and a good motivator to just keep on moving!