Daily mileage: 22
(mile 312 to 334)
So at about 10pm last night I heard some scuffling and voices, "yeah it's this trail that takes like 6 months to hike, oh my god there are people camping here." Then it got real quiet and they tiptoed by. Woohoo for polite people who were nice to us as we stealth camped (we may or may not have been camped next to a no camping sign..,)
Hiking by 5:15 brought us back to river where I wasted time by missing the trail crossing the river and then started the day off right with wet feet. Nothing quite like early morning river crossings. Passed quite a few people camped by the water just about a mile from where we had been, only their campsites were in a cold pocket, buggy and pretty trash filled. Score 1 for our early impromptu camping stop.
It was shaping up to be a hot day and the trail contoured us all around the edge of the valley. We got a few glimpses of what I'm told was Hesperia (I know basically nothing about the cities down here). Did a nice 10 miles by 10 am as I tried my best to avoid some of the heat. Broke down and listened to some music which was pretty fantastic (hike your own hike, no judging please I know the music thing can be a touchy subject).
A quick little road walking and climbing while baking in the sun and suddenly there was a lake. Okay so I'll admit it, I had looked at water sources for the day and was carrying quite a bit because they were sparse but hadn't looked at the actual map so Silverwood Lake was a bit of a shocker. I knew what mile we were taking a break at but wow did it take a long time to get there. Seriously though cleghorn picnic area is something like 3 miles from the start of the lake and as usual you work for those miles. Climbing through a lot of scrub and poison oak getting hundreds of feet away from the lake and staring longingly at the nice road at the shoreline.
The trail takes you a painful distance away from the picnic area and park but the short detour back is completely worth it. What a fantastic siesta spot. There was a breeze, grass, potable running water (a big rarity), a shaded pavilion with picnic tables, and a lake! I love siesta.
5:30 rolled around and after adding Ptrack to our little group we headed out. Climbing out of the canyon kicked my butt and once we were over the ridge line I was happy that sunset and camp time was approaching. Picked a nice spot on the trail and we had our home for the night. We had been trying to set up to get closer to the highway and out only water source for 27 miles so our stopping point left us with about 8 miles to go, not to shabby. Plus with an early stop we could tank up, get a snack and avoid at least some of the heat while carrying so much water weight (remember 6L of water is 13.2 pounds, a painful amount of weight).
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