Mile 127 to 149
up/down: 3600/3800 feet
Today was the day we left San Diego County and entered Riverside. That's not a big deal unless you're an obsessive county bird lister like Susan. It's a big time hobby for many birders - how many species can one see in each of California's 58 counties. For the county we were leaving she got 15 new ones with 272 already on the books before we started. That's pretty good!
Mike's Place behind us. It really is the middle of nowhere
We left the magic of Mike's Place without partaking in the breakfast burritos being cooked by Tom. We're already carrying too much food in our packs and need to eat our own! Still in Anza Borrego State Park (we would be most of the day, it is huge!) we traversed a range called Bucksnort Mountains hitting Riverside County about 5 miles into the day. Right off Susan picked up several new birds including Blach-chinned Sparrow, Black-headed Grosbeak, and Scott's Oriole. Eventually we could see the community of Anza in the distance and far below. We skirted the east side of Anza high up continuing ever closer the the monster of San Jacinto Peak. We could see it for the first time today. Often this early in the season it can be a snowy traverse on the PCT. From the south side perspective we didn't see any snow but it's the north side that's the problem. We'll know in a few days.
Water and logistics drive the decisions in this section. It's far between good water and there's a major fire detour coming tomorrow. We were lucky to come upon a well stocked water cache today that allowed us to cook dinner early and get a few more miles done. We will stop by the Paradise Valley Cafe a short distance off trail tomorrow morning for a water fill up before another tough climb. It was hot and sunny today. After days of rain and clouds we wanted some sun. Now we're not so sure...