PCT - 14 Arrowhead to Silverwood
(6/24/10) Written by Larry C
Photo Credits: Alan S, Jeff C, and Glen R.
In the continuing saga of trying to complete the entire Pacific Crest Trail before the end of recorded time, somewhere between 5 and 8 of us (depending how you count) launched our trip from the Mojave Forks River Campground (which has not a river in sight). What was originally planned as a backpack had turned into two sequential day hikes, involving less work, but logarithmically more complex car shuttling mechanics. Rumor has it that Mike spent most of the Friday at work plotting it out.
Both days were fairly long (16 miles or so), but the elevation gains and losses were gentle. Unable to accept the fact that this was not actually a backpack, I insisted on carrying 45 pounds in a pack, so I lagged just a bit behind the others (and about 2 hours behind speed demon Jeff). Saturday's hike snaked its way high above a creek, reaching Deep Creek Hot Springs about 2/3 of the way through. Just before reaching the springs, I came across a deranged guy who was stark naked except for a pack, and images of Deliverance flashed across my mind. Luckily, he went the other way, but when I finally found my way to the hot springs, he was there, guarding the tub, so I decided to keep going. But everyone else who got there before me had a nice swim. Further along the trail, I was able to gain some major street cred when a group of teenagers asked me what I was listening to on my iPod and I told them The F*** Buttons (seriously, they're great). They no doubt had expected I was listening to music that was popular among kids when I was young (Bing Crosby, Tommy Dorsey ...).
Back at camp, Rob and Glen whipped up an astounding 4-star steak dinner, replete with watermelon salads, vinegar reductions, onion concoctions and red pepper explosions. Alan rolled in from Vegas, in time for Sunday's hike and, more importantly, dinner.
On Sunday, Dave was kind enough to get up at 5 a.m. to help me get to my shuttled car, and get a pair of hiking shoes that weren't falling apart. Sunday's hike was a bit on the warm side, venturing into the Mojave Desert just before summer. Luckily, we came upon a water cache about halfway through. How did it get there? Probably the Keebler elves. The hike concluded by winding along beautiful Silverwood reservoir, and then we all headed to dinner in Rancho Cucamonga. I found a kindred spirit in Amy, as together we bemoaned the Lakers getting crushed in Game 5 of the finals, on the TV above the bar. But we later prevailed in Game 7, as order and joy were restored to the universe, and as everyone eagerly awaited PCT 15.