Mile: 454.5 to 478
As promised we were out of town bright and early. It was an up and down day through the Angeles National Forest southwest of Palmdale. We were in and out of a number of canyons and high on ridges. We ducked down into Bouquet Canyon and got a peek at the large reservoir. Then it was up to the Leona Divide. This area hold special memories for me. Back in the mid 1990s I ran in the Leona Divide 50 Mile Ultra Marathon two times. And here we were all these years later backpacking our way through the same trail. The habitat all day was coastal chaparral and with it the expected birds: lots of Cal Thrashers, Bewick's Wrens, Lazuli Buntings, a few Rufous-crowned Sparrows, and others. There were lots of birds and activity all day so very enjoyable.
Eventually we made our way down to a road crossing at San Francisquito Valley Road about 2 miles east of Green Valley. There is another trail angel house in Green Valley and that's where all the hikers were headed. Not us, we've had enough of that scene for a day or two. We are far more concerned with the upcoming trail closure and getting around and back on the trail. So we crossed the road to the Green Valley Forest Service Fire Station and talked to one of the friendly firefighters about water and a place to pitch our tent. He showed us the water spigot and told us we could have the run of the place and set up anywhere we wanted. He pointed out a particularly nice gazebo area where we made dinner and set up for the night. We are close to a busy road but that's not unusual for us lately. That's why we brought earplugs. A shout out to the kind folks at this station, they didn't have to but made us feel welcome.
Tomorrow we will get around the closure and get back on the trail at about Mile 496. But that's a story for another day.