Mile: 299 to 320.5
up/down: 3100/4200 feet
New bird species:
You would think that walking all day down a creek would make for an easy water carry day. You would be wrong. We walked the length of Deep Creek canyon and never once touched the water until emerging at the canyon mouth at the Mojave River Dam. In the sometimes maddeningly way the equestrian friendly PCT is always searching for the perfect contour line, we wove up and down, in and out, always 50 to 100 feet above the water. You would also think that going down a canyon would make for easy downhill hiking. Wrong again! I felt all day like a hamster on a wheel - working way too hard and going nowhere - for a down canyon day. For all the challenges it was a beautiful canyon and loaded with birds. The bird of the day today was Lazuli Bunting. We had our first of the trip almost immediately after starting out and they were everywhere down the canyon. I suspect the males are just getting in from migration as they were singing up a storm and chasing each other around as they organize into territories.
Thankfully there was a side stream about 8 miles into the day where water was plentiful. When we left the canyon at 15 miles we forded the cool water of Deep Creek and filled our bottles again.
Yes we passed the infamous Deep Creek Hot Springs, but thankfully the trail stayed well away from the craziness. That's all I'm saying about that...
We are headed toward Cajon Pass now and made a reservation for tomorrow night at the Best Western on I-15. That decision cost us a 21.5 mile day today, leaving us 22+ miles tomorrow for a shower, sit down dinner, and real bed. It will be worth it.