7/2/18 – InReach to the Rescue

Day 12

Miles: 1,261.00 to 1,241.71

We’re back in the trail at 8:00, rested and fed by Nancy and Terry, our wonderful hosts. What a lovely break Bucks Lake turned out to be.

Now it’s back to hard work. Well, not so hard really. The trail continues along the ridge line that brought us here and it’s very gentle in both ups and downs.

At Lookout Rock we wave to the views. The trail starts dipping down towards Bear Creek, taking us deeper into the valley. We meet several hikers, stop to talk to few. One couple alerts us to a cougar activity in the area. Apparently they saw two late last night at their site close to bear creek.

The only wildlife we saw was dear. Right after we started today, there was a die with a baby grazing near the trail. Later we saw another dear chowing on grass. He was directly in the trail and let us go pretty close before he decided to move few steps uphill to let us pass.

The first half day is easy meandering along the trail. We pass many Northbound hikers, including Swayed’s friend Candyman. We also pass a guy with three horses who’s doing a several hundred miles long section in the PCT going southbound like us which means we’ll see lots of California cairns (horse poo) on the trail.

We bottom at Bear Creak, very nice stream surrounded by big leafy plants. It’s great place for a lunch before we start climbing out of the valley. Not a great place to get water, the stream is little tricky to reach. So to replenish our bottles we move to a spring about a mile away. Mark, the horse guy catches up with us there. Apparently there was an accident. One of his horses fell on her back. She is miraculously OK, just showing few scratches but the saddle that carried Mark’s gear is destroyed and Mark suffered a leg injury causing him to bleed quite a bit. He needs to go off trail. Luckily Swayed carries InReach, a satellite communication device, through which we are able to alert Mark’s wife and she initiates rescue from a trailhead few miles ahead.

The three of us are left with a dilemma. We spent decent amount of time trying to establish the communication between Mark and his wife, and we can either camp at a creek nearby, which means a very long climb tomorrow, or push for our original destination and get there rather late at night. We choose to push, sweating our way up the hill. Humidity raises, it sucks the energy of us.

The water source we chose to fill up at does not have any campsite nearby. We have to fill with 3 liters of water each and carry them up the hill for the last mile or so until we find a suitable spot to camp.

Mosquitoes like this spot too. We fall asleep to the sound of them buzzing around our tent. It was an interesting day at which beginning we received an act of kindness and at its end we were able to repay it back.