Day 24 – A OK

Trail Camp to Soledad Canyon KOA
Mile 420.6 – Mile 444.3

Marine layer over LA

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.

Fire damaged trees
Trail warnings abound

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.

Anyone pack a machete?

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.

Poodle Dog?

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.

Ice is huge out on the trail

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.

The PCT miles ahead

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.

KOA Oasis

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.

Caterpillars become butterflies

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.

7 Replies to “Day 24 – A OK”

  1. Hard to imagine LaLa land is less than an hour drive from where you are. But don’t go that way….. there’s artificial grass there!!! 😉
    No more soul crushing dreams, AppleJack!
    Enjoy the KOA. And have a few ice cubes why don’t ya?! 😉

    Like

      1. Yo John, my wife came home a couple of weeks ago with your blog info, she knew i’d be interested as i’ve been talking about doing Section J for years — all 70-some miles — not just an overnight here and there, this may be the year!

        Enjoy following your adventure, good job.

        Happy Trails!

        Like

      2. Ha, very cool. I’ll I can say is go make it happen. Glad to have you along, enjoy and thx!

        Like

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