Days 17 & 18 (Miles 293.8 to 333.5)

After two 20 mile days, we’ve made it within 9 miles of Cajon Junction, where food and a (half) rest day await us.

Yesterday we were up and out of our campsite by 8:00 am. We spent most of the day hiking through a rugged canyon alongside Deep Creek.

Deep Creek way below us.
Deep Creek way below us.

We saw almost no hikers until we were 14 miles into our day. At that point we reached Deep Creek Hot Springs. People everywhere!

Hot springs always attract a unique mix of visitors, and this one was no exception. We stayed for about an hour. Sitting in a hot spring after walking 200+ miles is pretty much the best thing ever. Nevertheless, it was nice to return to the solitude of the PCT. (Most people access the hot spring from Bowen Ranch Road, not from the Pacific Crest Trail.)

Hot springs!
Hot springs! A 104-degree pool next to a cold creek.

We hiked 6 more miles along Deep Creek before exiting the canyon near the Mojave River Dam. Saw one rattlesnake! It politely rattled at me and I jumped about a mile, before turning back around to take photos.

Rainbow bridge, a mile or two past the hot springs.
Snake!!!
Snake!!!
Nearing the end of the canyon...
Nearing the end of the canyon…
The Mojave River Dam. No water; it is for flood control only.
The Mojave River Dam. No water; it is for flood control only.

I found the area around the Mojave Dam to be a little creepy; lots of trash and graffiti on rocks. We filled up on water and pushed on for another mile into the San Bernardino National Forest.

We staggered into the first flat area we saw and fell asleep without bothering to set up the tent.

With no tent to take down, I thought we’d be up and out of camp early this morning, but somehow it still takes forever to get going.

After all of yesterday’s excitement, today was pretty boring. We did stumble upon another ice chest full of water, soda and fresh fruit! (High point of the day.) The trail contoured around Silverwood Lake before climbing up into more of the San Bernardino National Forest. We are once again camped out under the stars.

These things are all along the trail.
These things are all along the trail. (Wild cucumber.)
Every day the San Gabriels get a little bit closer.
Every day the San Gabriels get a little bit closer.
Silverwood Lake
Silverwood Lake
This. After hiking all day then scrambling off the trail to find a campsite, this was sitting on a rock staring up at me. Scared me more than the rattlesnake. (We still decided to camp in that spot.)
This. After hiking all day then scrambling off the trail to find a campsite, this was sitting on a rock staring up at me. Scared me more than the rattlesnake. (We still decided to camp in that spot.)

6 thoughts on “Days 17 & 18 (Miles 293.8 to 333.5)”

  1. Wow so you finally saw a rattlesnake, pretty cool, as long as if was you who spotted it first! You guys are making great progress! It’s so nice to sleep under the stars if the weathers permitting!

  2. Enough about feet, have you seen any nice golf courses? Are clothes getting a bit looser? You must be running a calorie deficit pretty much every day. Because I’m old, I think you’re a tad crazy. However, I enthusiastically wish you fair winds and following seas. Brian B. PS, more bridge pictures!

    1. Thanks Brian! We are definitely running a calorie deficit but trying to make up for it on our days off. We passed 1 golf course in Warner Springs; I’m not sure if it was nice or not. I’ll keep an eye out for more interesting bridges. So far, the two bridges on Day 17 were the best we’ve seen.

  3. So great to read about your progress and hear how you experience the diverse encounters along the way. Happy hiking and well deserved resting at grandma’s!

  4. Hallo Christa, hallo Rob. Ihr habt die ersten Schwierigkeiten glanzvoll überwunden und nun in einem guten Schritttempo. Mit Interesse lese und schaue ich eure Wanderung, Entschuldigung, eure Expedition. Ich hoffe ihr habt die Möglichkeit, fehlende Kalorien mit Schweizer Schokolade oder Käse auszugleichen. Viel Erfolg, aber auch viel Spass !

    1. Thank you Fridu! I do hope we’ll be able to find some Swiss cheese or chocolate somewhere. We’ve been eating Ritter Sports- not Swiss but that’s what has been available so far. 🙂

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