Friday, May 20, 2011

May 17, 2011

Start: 284
End: 307

Last night ended up being dry for the most part, with the exception of a little light sprinkle between 5 & 6am. We slept in a bit, and were on the trail just after 8am.

The first part of the day was about the same as the day before. The temperatures were mild with a little wind, and the burn area we were walking through yesterday carried over into today. Eventually we got through the burn area and transitioned back into an unburned section.

We took a break for lunch at a creek after 12 miles of hiking, and the location where the Deep Creek detour begins. While eating lunch we met Gladiator, Mule Stomper, Air ????, and also reunited with the Shotgun Sisters, Molly and Maddy.

The Deep Creek section of the PCT is rerouted due to landslides and bypasses what is said to be the best hot springs on the trail. There have been conflicting reports about the difficulty of the section and whether or not it really is dangerous or not. Apparently about 50% of hikers have been doing the detour and the other half have gone ahead through the Deep Creek section. Our group decided that it would be worth it to check out the hot springs, and if the trail looked dangerous or dodgy we could always turn around and go back the way we came.

The next 10 miles to the hot spring were great! The trail was in great shape and the views we had overlooking the creek were fantastic! There were a number of times when I looked down at the large slow moving pools of water and wished it were warmer so we could jump in the water to cool off. Unfortunately most of the time we were also much to high above the water for that to be a realistic possibility.

We got to the hot springs at about 5:00pm and immediately jumped in. Other hikers there included Drop Dead, Maddy, Molly, Balls, Sunshine, Gladiator, Marcus, and Travis. There was also one old local token naked guy in the hot spring as well. There are four pools of water fed by the hot springs each of which is about the same temperature (someone measured 101F). They felt absolutely amazing! We sat there for a couple hours before getting out and making dinner around 7pm. After dinner we again put our feet in the hot water and fantasized about how great it would be to have hot springs at every place we camped along the trail.

Tomorrow we will be going through the area that was supposedly hit harder by slides, but after all the hype about Fuller Ridge only to find very little snow, I'm not sure what to expect.

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