Day 16: Hotsprings

Memories from May 6

Today was mostly spent hiking alog a valley cut by Deep Creek. There was lots of local access so there were constant signs about fishing rules, no motor vehicles, and no camping. I’m not quite sure when “no camping” applies to thru hikers because sometimes we’re allowed to break certain rules.

I crossed the largest bridge I’ve seen so far.

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And saw some new plants.

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But the real highlight of the day was the Deep Creek Hotsprings. Clothing is optional but apparently PCT hikers aren’t as wild as AT hikers. Only one, well stoned hiker (not pictured) dropped their skivvies and still kept a shirt on, if unbuttoned.

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I haven’t done much waiting on the trail. I get up in the morning, break camp as quickly as possible, and breakfast while walking taking my first break when something forces me to (sometimes that’s a view so pretty if grabs your head and makes you look and so you stop because you stumble because you can’t see where you’re going). I got to the hot springs and, like a someone checking boxes on a to do list, hopped in the first pool I saw. Only after I was beginning to overheat, and was thinking if getting out and moving on, did I realize that I was under absolutely no compulsion to do such a thing. Instead, I hopped over the low wall of rocks cemented together to hold the softly steaming water and into the cool stream. I paddled around for a few tens of yards coming across other pools which were generally occupied and slackline which, while tempting (I’ve never tried one) looked like it was over unfortunately shallow water. Eventually I came back to the hot tub sized pool I started in and decided to wait until someone I knew showed up. With the exception of one sunburned fellow in red boxer briefs who was horseback riding the PCT, people didn’t seem particularly outgoing.

In time, Splitter, Eddie, Christine, Terminator, and a bunch of others made their way down to the hot springs. After a couple hours, Terminator commented that he’d heard that the place got pretty wild and so it wouldn’t be a good place to stay the night. I was low on water and there was a warning in Halfmile’s trail notes about elevated levels of fecal coliform so we moved on.

I got water from a side stream a few miles down the way.

The miles from the Deep Creek Hot Springs to the Mojave Dam were a beautiful traverse high or on the valley wall.

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I camped with Terms (short for Terminator, short for The Australian Terminator) below the Mojave dam that night. A guy named Tim was christened Tupac because his pack has an two large bags in the front. Two Pack… Tupac…

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