Day 17 – Me and My Shadow

Boulder Hill Camp to Mojave Dam Overlook
Mile 288.1 ā€“ Mile 312.7

My constant companion cuts a dashing figure

I spent this morning sewn to my shadow stretched out directly in front of me as I descended Holcomb Valley. Try as I might I could never quite catch up and my way was slowed by many fallen trees across the trail. As I was throwing my leg over one, I happened to catch the side of my kneecap on a protruding knot. Who needs coffee when white hot pain works even better?

First bridge of PCT at Deep Creek

Ten miles in and I arrived at Deep Creek Bridge and a relaxing break beneath its high span. I did not know it at the time but the rest of my day would be spent winding down and along the steep sided walls of the creek’s gorge.

Atmospheric encouragement to keep on trekking
Mid afternoon milestone

At some point early in the afternoon my shadow decided to let me lead. We wound our away in and out of gullies under a hot sun, iPod firmly in place, until in the distance appeared our destination.

Approaching Deep Creek Hot Springs
Hot pool and cold creek

Deep Creek Hot Springs is tucked within a widening of the canyon walls. A Shangri La of sorts, it seems to be a popular place though no overnight camping is allowed. I did not think hot springs sounded particularly appealing after my hot hike, but I changed my tune quickly. The springs pool was around 101 and the creek water refreshingly cool but not icy. Back and forth I went, my body a big fan of the unexpected spa treatment. I stayed long enough to make dinner before setting off again.

Sunset over Mojave River Forks Dam

Tent sites are scarce to nonexistent along a trail that traverses steep walls so I was all but forced to keep going. I managed to escape the gorge right at sunset and set up camp on a hill overlooking the Mohave River Forks Dam. I dropped down almost 3000 feet today and the night is noticeably warmer as a result.
Unfortunately I am now speeding to an almost certain time out due to Memorial Day weekend. I’m still almost 60 miles from my next resupply in Wrightwood and if I don’t get there by 11am Saturday, I will have to wait until 8am Tuesday for the post office to reopen. I’m not sure yet what I will do but I am amused at what stresses thru hikers. I can’t lose and It’s all good either way.

4 Replies to “Day 17 – Me and My Shadow”

  1. Just like Peter Pan today chasing your shadow. You’re a ‘lost boy!’ You’ll make it to Neverland , Johnny. ” Second star to the right……..and straight on til morning! ” Or 11am Saturday šŸ˜‰
    You’ve got angels all around you!

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  2. Truly awesome day… and I imagined you enjoying both the first crossing of the creek, and then at the hot springs! Looks like it was pretty deserted too. Maybe a zero day at Cajon Pass… I recall spending a whole day there back in the ’80’s chasing trains (and my friend, Greg, taking pictures) before we headed out to Death Valley for some hiking and camping. It is clearly nothing like the adventure you are undertaking.
    Might be a more crowded weekend on the trail if the holiday weekend gets folks out of the city, so find yourself a campsite. Peace!

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