1.49 miles North of Holcomb Valley Road (2N09) to Bench Camp, CA
Last night was great. The tent site was flat and the temperature was chilly, but not too cold. All in all a perfect night. We woke at 6:30 am and actually made it on the trail by 8:45. This was the first time in a long time that we got on the trail before 9 am...and with the longer miles, we need to get out earlier.
The first goal of the day was to make it to a water source 5.5 miles away. We had plenty of water to get there, but with us doing 15 miles we find that we have to break it down into smaller sounding numbers.
We started decending pretty soon after starting and wound up in a burned out forest.
As we approached the water source, we came upon these wild berries. Neither of us were willing to try them out, but they did look edible to me.
Finally, we made it to Little Bear Springs Trail Camp which sits on Holcomb Creek. The wooden structure is an outhouse.
Also at this trail camp was a picnic bench, so we took the opportunity to eat lunch even through it was a bit early. By the way, we covered the first 5.5 miles of the day by 11:15...pretty good.
The rest of the day we hiked along Holcomb Creek although we did climb above it for some time. We hiked through very diverse terrain from green forest to burned forest to boulders.
We also came across some new flowers:
And finally, I was able to catch a butterfly in action.
We hit 10 miles at 2:00 when we took a 30 minute break instead of our usual calling it a day and setting up camp. The last 4.5 miles (we actually hikes 14.5 miles today) were not too bad. Our destination for the night was Bench Camp. With 0.6 miles to Bench Camp we came across Holcomb Creek Camp which looked pretty nice, but there were 3 tents setup there already, so on we went when we saw this sign:
One quarter mile later we made it to Bench Camp to find 3 tents and about 6 guys and a dog staying there. The next campsite wasn't for at least 3.5 miles, so our choice was to stay, or hike back the 0.6 miles to the last campsite. Since backwards didn't sound too good, we decided to just stay here and hope that we are tired enough to sleep through the noise that I'm sure will ensue till at least midnight.
Oh well, at least the tent site is flat, and if I listen real hard, I can hear the creek down below our tent.