Saturday, March 30, 2019 – 8.50 miles
The trail climbed steadily today, leaving Aqua Caliente Creek in favour of sunny, rocky slopes covered with shrubs. I enjoyed the views, especially towards the end of the day. A procession of hikers that had probably camped along the creek last night passed me in the morning, and regrettably the trail in places smelled like a latrine today. Don’t pee at lookouts, okay? People want to sit there, they want to eat, they don’t want to smell your urine cooking in the sun.
I was planning to hike at least to a certain road today, but was tempted at only 3:30 PM by a scenic valley filled with boulders and potential campsites.
I followed a path marked with footprints down into the valley, found a flat clear area and pitched my tent.
On the trail above and also in the valley, I had noticed tiny pools of water in some of the drainages. Out of curiosity more than a need for water I walked to the centre of the valley, finding a clear stream about six inches across.
Two unoccupied tents were pitched on the opposite bank. I figured that the owners were probably locals rather than PCT hikers, who would be less likely to camp far from the PCT. I went back to my tent and finished setting up, then returned to the stream to collect water. Still no activity at the tents, but later I began hearing voices (not in my head, thank you very much). There are mosquitoes here too. Good thing my trashy zipper sliders are still doing a good job.