Trail Camp to Soledad Canyon KOA
Mile 420.6 – Mile 444.3
I have a recurring dream where I am sleeping in my tent and reach outside to feel the artificial grass of Scout and Frodo’s backyard. “No, no, no!” The idea of having to go back and repeat hard won miles crushes my soul. There are certainly spectacular parts of the PCT in Southern California but I don’t want to imagine repeating most of them.
Case in point, the last 60 plus miles after Mt Baden-Powell have little to recommend other than being on the path to Canada. This morning the trail continued through burned hills and was often overgrown with the low bushes that help restabilize the soil.
One of those low bushes is the reclusive Poodle Dog bush of which there have been frequent warnings. I am still not sure I know what one looks like but I am pretty sure the picture I took back at Scissors Crossing was not one. I had the thought that maybe this was like the old ‘snipe hunt’ my dad would take us kids on while camping. He’d walk behind us throwing stones into the bushes to feed our gullible imaginations. Of course we never found a snipe but given the official nature of the warnings, I have to believe Poodle Dog is real.
The overgrown trail and the vague threat of Poodle Dog bushes, made this morning not much fun. I resorted to making a couple phone calls to win through to the ranger station and the promise of water.
Not only water, but pinch me, a cooler full of ice cold soda for $1 each! This non soda drinker guzzled a 7-Up and chased it with a Bargs Root Beer. Heaven.
Buzzing on a huge, refreshing sugar infusion, I wandered down the trail to complete what turned out to be a long, hot 8 miles.
My destination today was the fabled Kampground Of America (KOA) right on the trail outside of Acton, CA.
My impression of KOA campgrounds is forever colored by a family road trip and our windy ‘camping’ experience somewhere in Wyoming. I’m pretty sure we pitched the huge family tent on a concrete pad.
Well, rewrite the record. The KOA today had cold Gatorade, hot showers, wi-fi and blessing of all blessings- a swimming pool!
Trading silence and solitude for the creature comforts of KOA was okay with me at least for this night.