The goal was to make Mission Creek at 16 miles and at 3000ft, possibly cooler. Playing it safe, I left Ziggy’s at 3:45am. Other than 10 minutes wandering around finding the Trail Head, it was pretty smooth leaving.
The moon was nearly full but was setting, so I left in the warm morning into a dark canyon with my headlight as my beacon. As the trail climbed through the canyon there was silence broken only by the breeze. Then, a faint whistling getting louder and modulated as I continued.
It was the Wind Generators at the top of the ridge. Quite spooky until I could see them on the ridge in the pre-dawn sky.
Overall it was a great hiking temperature and I made good time. There were some high clouds so the sun didn’t get hot until 9am, and by then I had made 10 miles. The last six were much more difficult as the sun rose.
I arrived at the stream just before noon and laid out in the shade under one of the few trees. But they were trees! Up to then I was in desert conditions. There were about 12 of us lounging around trying to eat lunch and nap in the heat, all of us are waiting for the afternoon to cool off.
At 4pm I continued on to find a better, and cooler camp. At 5pm I found a nice spot 2 miles in and called it quits. Nine hours hiking and 18 miles is a good day.
After a nice evening near the small stream, I set out at 5am. The goal today is Mission Springs, which is a nice and cold spring and then a few miles beyond.
The day was grueling. I started at 3000ft and climbed most of the day to 8400ft where I made camp. It was more of the same topography as before until 7000ft where the pine trees began. It was wonderful to be amongst trees again, if only for a few days.
However there was lots of Poodledog bush. This is actually worse than poison oak and we avoid it where possible. It has a pungent smell almost like Marihuana.
I ended the day with just 15 miles.