Second crossing of Deep Creek
below the hot springs.
Standing on the edge of the
Mojave viewing the Mojave River
Forks Reservoir Dam.
Evening falls over Summit Valley.
(Ok, so it's a bad picture, but
at least you know its evening.)
Well, we've been on the trail exactly 3 weeks now.
I woke up on the wrong side of the Therma Rest this morning. It was freezing cold and I was cranky. My body and my mood warmed up once we got moving, however. We spent the morning hiking high up on the canyon wall above Deep Creek. This part of the trail had just been reopened after a devastating forest fire last summer. We eventually came to Deep Creek Hot Spring, an optional nudity locale that is very popular with the folks around here. As it was Saturday, quite a few people were bobbing around in the water below us. We did not stop, although it looked like great fun to be with others of my kind. We needed to pump water, but the only convenient spot was downstream from the bathers and even Crystal Light couldn't overcome the thought of what the filter could have missed.
Eventually we traveled into the lowlands and were rudely thrust back into "civilization." We stopped by the creek to filter water and ran into many people out enjoying the water. (It was the same creek, it just seemed somehow better to be further downstream, and besides, we had no choice)
We had to ford the creek at this point and just as we did, a family of 9 people came wading upstream: a father and what appeared to be 8 noisy children ranging in age from 5 to 15. (They seemed to be all his, because they were all yelling "Daddy," unless it is an affectionate nickname.) There was no mother to be seen. She was probably home pregnant or exhausted or both.)
Some of the family members stared at us and we stared back. Scott said it appeared that we were all thinking the same thing about each other: FREAKS!
Then, to my horror, one of the youngest children who couldn't have been more than 6 yelled, "Daddy! There's a condom in the water! A big condom! Eew!" I don't know if there was or there wasn't but just the idea that a child of this age was familiar with condoms and probably what they were for seemed incredibly depressing. Children don't stay children long anymore, I guess. Another part of me wanted to yell, "Could you please explain to your father what one is for and how to use it, because it doesn't appear that he's ever seen one." (Scott was mainly horrified that we'd just pumped water from very near that location.)
We left the area, anxious to forget the realities of civilization and return to some sort of solitude. As we hiked along a ridge, the sound of repeated gunfire assaulted our ears. Apparently, the trail goes right by a firing range and there was a person firing at targets. The angle that he was standing made it look very much like he was firing at us. It made for restful hiking experience, which luckily soon ended as the trail headed off in another direction.
We hiked until dusk and camped right on the trail with a nice view of Summit Valley and the distant San Gabriel Mountains.