Thursday, April 28, 2016

Highway 2 and a Frog Go-Around

Day 22 - April 27
Mile: 386 to 406.5 (plus bonus)
up/down: 4925/6300

New trip bird: 
Western Tanager 

New LA County birds for Susan:
Calliope Hummingbird 
Olive-sided Flycatcher

Our friend, CA Highway 2, or the Angeles Crest Highway. We slept next to it for two nights then today crossed it half a dozen times and walked 3 miles of it for good measure. We started by ascending Mt Williamson most of the way to the top then immediately dropping right back to the highway. This would be the theme for the day - walk some trail up and down then cross the highway. Except when we came to the frog detour. The trail is closed between mile 390 and 394 to protect the habit of the  endangered Mountain Yellow-legged Frog. The walk around requires a 3 mile road walk down Hwy 2, followed by ducking through the giant Buckhorn Flat Campground, and finally connecting back to the PCT using the Buckhart Trail. It added about a mile overall but worst of all was the pavement pounding. After days of trail hiking it takes only minutes on pavement before legs and feet start screaming. We were fortunate that large sections of the highway were closed for winter damage repair so traffic was extremely light. 








We emerged back on the trail in Cooper Canyon, pretty enough with large stands of mature conifers. We ascended all the way to the head of the canyon, crossed the top, and what do you know, there's the highway again!  From there we started the real descent that will take us out of the mountains. At mile 403 we crossed that damn road one last time only to find MAGIC in a small picnic area. "Maverick" hiked the trail last year and was just out for the day providing good eats for us weary hikers. It couldn't have come at a better time for us, we were tired and hungry and in need of some magic. We enjoyed some good food and company and were ready for the final push to camp. The last 3.5 miles traveled a lovely oak and pine transition habitat mixed with chaparral. We're at 5500 feet tonight and have to climb back to 7000 in the morning. Such is the way of the PCT. 










10 comments:

  1. Maxwell Maltz published a book in the 60's, Psycho-Cybernetics, and his theory about 21 days to form a habit. There must be something to that because you posted for 21 straight days and last night...nothing. You can imagine my dismay, angst. This can't be. Then I thought, wait a minute, am I stalking them? Relax I said to myself, they're okay. Well, apparently checking your stories, your progress, your terrific pictures are all firmly planted in my nightly routine. Congratulations! And too bad about closing our land for a frog that I'm sure you would have never seen. Stay safe you two.

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    1. My friend, you can stalk us all you want. There will be days and many of them on this trip where I can't get cell connection to upload the post. Last night was one of those where we were buried deep inside a canyon with nary a whiff of cell service. When we got to the ridge top this morning after a 1500 foot climb I was able to upload. It drives me nuts having the post written and not being able to load it in the evening.

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  2. Bob and Susan, I have made it my lunchtime ritual to checkout your new posts. You both are amazing! Thanks for your posts and you should totally turn it in to a book!

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    1. Thanks Sheila, glad to have you along!

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  3. Here here Shiela! Really enjoying the commentary.

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  4. I am really enjoying the blog as well and definitely got a bit worried with no post, but saw your progress and that you had posted your location recently. I figured you might not have internet service. I hope some of the frogs survive. They are truly endangered and I am glad the forest service made the go around, would be nice if they wouldn't make the frog into a demon though making sure everyone grumbles about the detour.
    Anyway, wondering how many other hikers you are encountering every day? Are many passing you or are you two passing everyone else? Did you camp at the campground nearby last night or are you just crashing next to the trail? Are there many places where you are having company at night or are you mostly alone? Just wondering.

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    1. It's been strange the whole trip. We've had days when we've seen nobody and others with a dozen or more. We camp about half the time with one or two others the rest alone. Today we hiked 12 miles before lunch at a water source and saw almost nobody all morning. Before we left the source there was 9 people there. Go figure...

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  5. I'm okay with the detour (only 4 miles) assuming it's based on real and continuing science. If the Forest Circus just slapped up a sign and hoped for the best, well then... But, lets move on to more important topics like Susan's missing toenails and let this one go. ๐Ÿ˜€

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  6. "Susan's missing toenails". That sounds really painful. Are you guys so tough that missing toe nails are a mere inconvenience?

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  7. None are missing yet, but one is held in place currently with duct tape. ๐Ÿ˜€

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