Day 18 – Score Update: Toenails 8, PCT 2

Mojave Dam Overlook to Trail Camp
Mile 312.7 – Mile 333.8

Sadly I must report that we have lost two of our own to the trail. Both had been muttering something about mutiny almost from the start and they finally decided to jump ship. Left little toenail slipped away quietly yesterday figuring Deep Creek Hot Springs was a fine place to ditch the team. Right little toenail took more of a scorched earth approach to ensure his absence would be felt. They will be missed.

Purple dawn over Mojave River Forks Dam

Dawn broke today pink and purple on the high mountains north with their shoulders wrapped in white cotton. More proficient at breaking camp, I was soon picking my way down to the dam as the day lightened.

Ware the sinker logs

The last crossing of Deep Creek was an early morning test of dexterity for which if you prove worthy, you win dry feet. Apparently worthy and more than a little thankful, I started in on a piece of the trail that can be very hot and dry.

Morning trail

Thankfully for me, the weather today was cool even if the wind was gusty and strong. I had wondered if my hat was a wee bit too small but today proved otherwise. On some of the exposed ridges I found myself tugging my hat down tight and leaning into the wind to progress. I hesitate to say it but it hasn’t been blown off yet.

Otherworldly infestation. Is there a botanist in the house?

I was feeling sluggish and my pace seemed to be slowing so what else? Time for some Bruce! I went from lethargic to exultant pounding my trekking poles down in time to the music with a stupid grin on my face. To see me would have been to say “I’ll have whatever he’s having!” As a result I managed to salvage my third 10×10 all thanks to the transportive power of music. Thank you Brother Bruce!

Mighty earthen works of Cedar Springs Dam

After a morning in the hills just south of Hesperia, CA, the PCT pops over those hills to reveal Silverwood Lake. It’s a man made reservoir and was created by the construction of the impressive earthworks of Cedar Springs Dam. Given the start of Memorial Day weekend, the lake and adjoining campground were  strangely deserted save for my lunch companions.

Wind whipped Silverwood Lake panorama
Lunch guests today

While stopped for lunch, I did some quick mental math about my resupply quandary. I figured I would have to walk 16 of the next 22 hours to make closing time at the post office. Have I mentioned my feet hurt? In the end there was no decision. Foot off the gas, my plan is to coast into Wrightwood Sunday and take Monday off. There’s no reason to hurry to the Sierras quite yet as much of trail there remains buried in snow. More on that topic in the coming weeks.

5 Replies to “Day 18 – Score Update: Toenails 8, PCT 2”

  1. Bummer to lose the toenails… ouch! I’d say you made great progress today, good thought stopping short of Cajon Pass… you can enjoy that tomorrow. 🙂
    And Bruce is a great friend to bring on the motivation! Many a great memory of enjoying that live with you brother! Monday in Wrightwood is a super idea…get another day to recharge the body. Wish I could meet you there. Sleep well!


  2. Gorgeous pictures, really enjoying them. I lost 6 toenails last fall hiking the Camino in Spain, coming back slowly. Hope you aren’t blistering, that’s worse. Bandaids and taping works pretty well for that. I’ll pretend I’m hiking the PCT thru your experiences, think it’s too tough for us. Enjoy this amazing experience!


  3. Wooo glad that Bruce helped you “nail” that third 10×10! (Too soon to joke?)
    Getting close to that mythical trail McDonalds!


  4. Your pictures are so great seeing what you are seeing. Know that I am walking by your side if only in spirit. Sounds like a good idea to take a day-off on Monday to rest your feet. I send my love for a quick healing of those toes.


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