Date: Friday, 12 May 2017
Start: Campsite by trail and trickle at Mile 286.7, 6459 ft
Finish: Campsite by trail and Deep Creek at Mile 310.0, 3318 ft
Daily Miles: 23.3 PCT
Total PCT Miles: 310.0
Weather: Warm and sunny all day
Dinner: Rehydrated lasagne in meat sauce
Aches: None really
Highlight: The impressive Deep Creek canyon, which the trail followed most of the day, usually high above the rushing creek which could be heard and occasionally seen far below.
Lowlight: Getting up after one break to discover I had collected a swarm of ants all over my upper body. Their bite wasn’t ferocious, but painful enough, and I got quite a few.
Pictures: Click here
Map: Click here for Google Map
I was on the trail by 6:30am on a cold morning, which rapidly warmed as the sun rose. The early walking was pleasant through large boulder fields and occasional pine forest. As the trail descended, as it did for most of the day, the vegetation became more desert-like, though there was water flowing in Deep Creek, which the trail followed for most of the day.
I saw quite a few familiar faces, including a group of three I have been seeing for the past week or more who somewhat typify the trail. Three strapping young guys in their mid-to-late 20s, 6ft or more and all lean muscle. They met on the trail and converse in English with each other, but one is from Finland, one from Austria, and one from South Korea. They hike a lot faster than me, but take longer breaks, so our daily mileage is roughly the same. Oh to be young again!
Later in the afternoon, the trail passed the Deep Creek Hot Springs, where I stopped for 20 minutes or so and dunked my feet in the very warm water which was flowing into Deep Creek. Apart from PCT hikers, there was a random collection of people who had hiked into this popular spot, which is “clothing optional”. Sadly the only unclad bathers were a couple of overweight heavily tattooed guys, who seemed to be trying to impress the ladies. The whole place seemed a bit seedy and I was ready to leave after 20 minutes.
Late in the afternoon I met my old friend, Octane, at one of the stream crossings and we ended up camping together in a nice, but somewhat small site by the creek. Campsites were few and far between, so we were happy with our find.