Day 23: Long breaks

Tue. 5/14/13
21.3 miles (Miles 304.7 – 326)
PCT Mile 304.7 – Silverwood Lake

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Down in deep creek canyon

We took a couple of long breaks today, but glad we did – they were so worth it! Our first one was about three miles into our day at the Deep Creek hot springs, which is a clothing-optional spring. We got there early on a Tuesday morning, so we had the few pools nearly to ourselves. I still wore my hiker’s swimsuit, though. Doubles as laundry day!

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Hot springs!

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Awesome warm spring water... and it didn't smell sulfury, even!

Our second long break was about a half-hour after a shorter break, but we didn’t care! It was trail magic from Shepard and Marlene! They made us a hot dog, we had potato salad, and get this – a freakin’ root beer float! Ohmygosh it was so good!! Thank you Shepard and Marlene!

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Marlene & Shepard! Trail angels!

On that same break, a group of four pulled up to go for a day hike and they had hula hoops! With our new sugared-up energy from the floats, Rachel and I asked to try them out. What a fun stop!

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Our hula hooping friends!

Even though we took those two longer breaks, we still had one more longish, nappy break when it was super-hot out, and one last shoe-off, water-fill break. We were thrilled that we still squeaked out 21 miles today… our feet are tired, and so are we!

We hiked high up along the Deep Creek canyon all through the morning, looking down at the blue water, small rapids every so often, and the giant white boulders lining the canyon walls. It was really pretty, but we had to shut out the graffiti in some spots. How sad that this area gets so visually damaged with spray paint. It wasn’t even good graffiti. I have always really enjoyed the neat designs you see on train cars, but this was just mostly annoying… writing stuff just to write stuff. There was one that made me giggle, though – a rock that had “danger” painted on it with an arrow, pointing down a steep rocky slope that went straight down to the water. Yeah, duh!

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Danger!

Wildlife today: we had a hummingbird hover and chirp above us this morning as we were breaking camp. We’ve seen a ton of hummingbirds out here! I even had one divebomb me and scare the crap out of me when I was wearing my pink shirt!

We also saw a rattlesnake today – our second one so far. I was hiking in front and came around a corner with a giant boulder jutting out from the turn when I heard the distinct sound of his rattle. I leapt forward as I hollered back to Rachel, “Snake! Stop!” I turned and looked back. He was now between us, half coiled but not too irritated – he wasn’t rattling anymore. Rachel took a few steps to see if she could safely get around him, but he started to lift his whole body and coil tighter. She backed off again and he slowly crept back up and under a bush until he disappeared. Cool scene for sure, but still pretty scary.

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Another rattlesnake!

We walked past a water resource plant and along a short section of roadway this afternoon. It wasn’t the most scenic, but the Cedar Creek dam and spillway was neat. We were getting tired and starting to drag when we popped over a hill snd BAM! Silverwood Lake! A big, blue lake! It was a fantastic distraction from our tired feet and selves.

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Ohmygosh, a lake!!

We are now camped on a tiny piece of lakeshore. There are all kinds of weird noises going on around us, and we’re not sure what any of them are. There was a lot of gross garbage on the path down here, so nasty litter-bugging people must frequent the area. We’re glad it’s a Tuesday – hopefully it’ll be more likely the noises are from critters. We were set up to cowboy and decided last minute to put up the tent and hang our food. We’ll sleep better in our bulletproof silnylon tent. ;-)

A quote at an interesting water source today: “I hope it doesn’t taste like it smells… otherwise… we’ll drink it anyways.”

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Yup, totally drank this water. Nom nom!

Seriously… time for headphones. There are so many critters sharing this spot with us!

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