PCT Day 29 – Friday May 12
Deep Creek Hot Springs Mile 307.9 to Cleghorn Picnic Area Mile 328.1
PCT Miles Hiked Today: 20.2
Feet Ascended Today: 2457
Feet Descended Today: 2574
Current Elevation: 3365
We awoke early this morning. The hot springs are supposed to be a day use area and we had heard of rangers showing up at 6:00 am and handing out $175 tickets. I left camp at 6:00 am and I was the last of our group to leave. As I left I was able to get a good picture of the hot springs as no one was in the water yet.
The moon was still visible on the horizon as I hiked out of the canyon where the hot springs were located. Pretty cool.
After a couple of miles, we crossed a bridge spanning the river that was painted RAINBOW! How cool is that? Rainbow *is* my favorite color.
Today I was hiking with a small group of folks which was unusual for me. I typically hike solo and then meet up with fellow hikers at breaks and at the end of the day. Anyway, I was mid-conversion with Halfway about some dumb thing or another when I was stung by a bee on the neck. He turned around to see me flailing about and screaming and just about falling off the edge of trail, not understanding what was wrong. When I stopped screaming I told him about the bee and he pulled the stinger out of my neck. I’m not allergic so after the initial shock wore off, I only had a small mark that looked like a mosquito bite and even that went away in a couple of hours.
Speaking of insect bites, I sat on something during our lunch break today and that’s hurting me a lot more. I’m not sure what got me but it’s in on the back of my upper thigh (ok – my butt) and it itches and hurts. I think it might have been some sort of biting ant. Blerg!
We eventually hiked out of the Cold Creek Day Use Area and past an old dam. By this point we had gone 5 miles in 2 hours! My fastest day yet so far. I’m getting faster which is encouraging.
Throughout the afternoon we passed 2 more dams. Eventually we hiked up and over a berm and there was Silverwood Lake suddenly visible directly below us! The wind was whipping around us and I had a hard time waking in a straight line. The remaining 3 miles followed the Lake and had fantastic views. We hiked quickly and soon made it to the Cleghorn Picnic Area. We were inspired to hike fast because word had it that you could order pizza to be delivered here. And the rumor was true! A flyer was weighed down to a picnic table with a rock and soon everyone had ordered a pizza. To be clear we all ordered our own individual pizzas – mostly larges (although I ordered a Medium).
My first official 20 mile day on the PCT. Yay!