Monday, May 7, 2012

Day 17, the Canyon of Mission Creek

Daily mileage: about 21

Headed out from the trout farm after a lazy slow morning. Okay well slow for me, sat around drinking our free cold coffee (from the rangers the night before) and hit the trail a little after 6. Followed the river for a bit with an actual creek crossing and only a little bit if walking in circles as I tried to find the trail. Climbed up and through the valley then a few miles of ridge line walking.

We all love the PCT but we tend to have trail bashing sessions. Everyday we seem to have at least one section where you can see where you are going but the trail first takes you to three other different places before finally going to where you need to be. Today it was the river, you could see mission creek but the trail did its best to just not get there. Finally dropping down into that canyon was great but the real winner today was the chrome dome umbrella. I opened that thing up on the ridge line when my thermometer said 80 degrees at 7:30 am and there was barely a breath of wind. Later it was in the 90's in direct sun but a more tolerable 78 under my umbrella :)
So me and my umbrella made the 8 mile trek up mission creek
canyon. It's an old burn area and you are in that canyon for a long time. Good flowers but it's almost windless and a lot of the same scenery. But you do get to cross the creek 20 some odd times, a real treat for the hot desert.

The canyon was starting to feel like it was never going to end and as the trail wound on the creek disappeared. Not good. And then miraculously it came back and there in a shady spot were the cousins having siesta time (so amazing to beat the desert heat). A few glorious hours later when Moss finally appeared we figured it was time to get moving. We had 2000 ft left to climb and 5 miles. The others quickly disappeared and I managed to drag myself incredibly slowly up the hill. Idahoan potatoes and refried beans are apparently not a get up and go fuel for me. But we did finally see poodle dog bush.

This stupid bush has been haunting us for miles. Apparently it's like poison oak and some people are highly allergic, but no one was quite sure what it looked like so for the last few days we have been dodging any suspicious looking plants. Now we wait and see how well we avoided it...
Camped at Mission Camp, sleeping in a dirt parking lot in style and man is it cold out!
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