Mile 279 to 299
New trip birds:
We started the morning on the 7500 foot elevation ridge and walked the nearly flat trail for 3 miles through the beautiful forest. All the new birds above except for the Dusky Flycatcher came in a short span along that ridge. It was hopping with birds and we had a hard time tearing ourselves away. Ultimately we did and continued descending into the Holcomb Creek drainage near Little Bear Spring. We would remain near this creek for the rest of the day - descending from montane to scrub oak habitat at 4500 feet. Much of the upper canyon had burned in 2007. Recovery is going well with Jeffery Pines as tall as 5 feet. The creek is choked with willow and the canyon rocky for much of the distance so the trail only occasionally dipped down to water level. But that was often enough as it gave us a very easy water carry day.
Big Bear Lake from our ridge
Mt. Baldy looms in the distance. We'll be there in a week.
Susan crosses the treacherous Holcomb Creek
Near the end of Holcomb Creek we climbed out of the canyon and traversed to a crossing of Deep Creek about a mile upstream from Holcomb. Here is where we have made camp as it seems 20 miles is our current limit, and this is a really nice spot.
Bridge over Deep Creek. We're camped below.
Tomorrow we will walk down Deep Creek passing the infamous Deep Creek Hot Springs. This hippy retreat draws all kinds of characters from what I've heard and read. We want to move past as quickly as possible. I have no interest in seeing fat old men wearing little clothing, and Susan says she sees enough of that at home...