We’ll begin by describing the most striking event of the last five days. Late at night on day 50, we had an encounter with a bear.
Day 42: Between Tylerhorse and Gamble Spring Canyons (Mile 544)-Highway 58 (Mile 566.5); 22.5 miles
Our alarm rang at 5:30 AM and we were up and walking by 6. Over the past few weeks we have perfected our morning routine and now are quite speedy. Shutterbug breaks down the tent while Anna organizes food for the coming day. We quickly place each item in the perfect spot in our packs so the weight is well balanced and everything we need is easily accessible.
The morning’s environment transitioned from grassy desert hills to a forest which burned last fall. The burn was so recent we could still smell charred wood, and the soil was scorched black. Little grew save a few small wildflowers.
We spend much of our time on the Pacific Crest Trail walking quietly. We observe and enjoy our surroundings, living in the moment. In the same spirit, this post consists only of photographs, so you can view our journey without commentary.
Day 38: Agua Dulce (Mile 454.5)-Dowd Canyon (Mile 475.5), plus 1 mile from town to trail; 22 miles
Day 33: Near climb to Mt. Baden-Powell (Mile 373)-Kratka Ridge (Mile 389.5); 16.5 miles
After a short morning descent, we climbed 2800 feet in 3.6 miles to reach the summit of Mt Baden-Powell. Mountains surrounded us on all sides, except to the north where the Mojave Desert stretched flat to the horizon. It was an amazing view of what lay ahead for us on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Near the summit we found gnarled, slow-growing limber pine trees. This species can survive in very harsh conditions for up to 2000 years.
A few miles later, tired from the climb and with our bellies growling for lunch, we passed a hiker resting at a trail junction next to a sign. We were focused on finding a good shady lunch spot, so we glanced briefly at the sign and continued walking. About a mile farther down the trail, things didn’t feel right. The trail was dropping faster than it should and the highway had become visible too soon. Sure enough, the GPS on our phones showed we were off the PCT.