Bench Camp to Under Rainbow Bridge, CA
Today I awoke with some excitement because of three things. One, the guys that we shared a campsite with did not make noise allowing us to have a great night sleep. Two, as you can see by the miles hiked today, we hit a another milestone. Three, which is the best, you will just have to read on and see.
We packed up and were on the trail before 8:30 am today...we keep getting a bit faster in the morning. Goal one again was to make it to the first water which today was 3.76 miles away. We left feeling good, mostly because of what was coming up today. We climbed up from our campsite and was welcomed by this view:
Then we re-entered the burn area which has it own weird beauty:
We finally made it to the Deep Creek where we filtered 6 liters of water and took a bit of a break:
After the break we climbed back up to the trail and crossed this pretty impressive bridge (bridge 1 of 2 today).
After the bridge, we climbed up above Deep Creek where we pretty much stayed the rest of the day. The trail climbed a lot, the temperature was pretty warm, and the trail was quite exposed with little shade and really no where to take a break.
We did come across these cool flowers that reminded us of something out of Dr. Seuss.
And then, just around noon we made it to 300 miles!!
After a bit of celebration, we continued up the trail. Here is the view we pretty much had most of the day. It was a bit frustrating when we were hot and the water we were drinking was getting hot and there was all that water way down there that we couldn't access.
Then we came across bridge number 2. Another engineering marvel.
Now it was getting a bit late. We needed to get to mile 307.80 with enough time to hang out and then still hike a couple of more miles to make 15 miles today. So we pushed on for 5 miles with very little breaks. When we were within 1 mile I took this picture hoping we just had to go around the bend.
What is this great thing just around the bend at mile 307.8? Here it is...the Deep Creek Hot Springs.
Being a weekend there was a bunch of local people hanging out with a smattering of PCT thru-hikers. Because this place was clothing-optional (BTW...we chose the clothing option)l, I didn't want to take any picture there, but it was so nice. There were multiple pools of different temperatures. I went from hot and the jumped into the cold creek and it felt great. We hung out there for 1.5 hours and even then I didn't want to leave...although Tim had enough.
Anyway, it was 6 pm and it was time to go since we had no idea where we would be camping tonight since the map didn't indicate any campsites. We knew from looking at the map that we climbed back up and then in a couple of miles we came back down to the creek...this is where we were hoping to find a place to camp.
Oh...here is a cool picture of Tim on the trail walking between flowers. How do they grow in that crushed granite?
Then we viewed another bridge:
Just before the trail crossed it, we noticed a smaller trail going down below it towards what we were hoping was a place to pitch the tent. That bridge will have to wait till tomorrow. We went down and there were 3 other people camping in the obvious spots. We found a smaller spot and Tim worked his civil engineering magic and was able to level it out well enough for us to pitch the tent.
The tent went up, I cooked dinner, and we got in the tent by 8:30 pm...a bit later than usual. Actually, it is now 9:30 pm, about 45 minutes past my bedtime. So goodnight!