Another undercast day in southern California.

I got up bright and early to make some tracks today and to be sure I was done with the road walking when it was still early and cool.  Since I was high on mount Wilson, I had a great sunset as well as a nifty sunrise.  The breeze died down in the middle of the night so I was alot warmer than when it was blowing while I was cooking and eating the night before.

All because of a toad

It was only a few miles before I hit the trail closure because of a rare toad in the area.  12 miles of trail are closed and substituted with a 7 mile road walk.  The road walk itself was quite nice.  In the two hours or so I was walking it, I probably saw only five cars.

A peaceful road walk with very little traffic.

The scenery was nice and the grade pretty tame.  A campground was five miles into the walk so I detoured to get water.  It took a while to find and I don’t think I was really using the official source, but it was water and I needed it.

Walking tall… On a road.

I was back in the woods long before lunch and stumbled on two other hikers who were both section hikers.  The trail here was an old abandoned road.  You could see chunks of asphalt here and there.  The trail was smooth and the grade quite mild again.

When we came to the private campground that sometimes has water, the owner was there and had filtered water for us and even cooked us hotdogs.  It’s always nice to eat something you don’t have to cook yourself.  He was there for the week with his son and a few other people doing maintenance on the structures.  We chatted a while and then set off again.

Another milestone – 400 miles done.

The afternoon was warm, but not hot and I took a short 30 min break to eat at 12:30 then again for an hour in the shade to nap at 3:00.  The area for at least ten miles around here had been burned and one of the nasty things that grows back after a burn is called poodle dog bush.  Weird name, weird bush.  It was all over the place and frequently right on the trail.

Poodle Dog bush is special because it has a toxin similar to poison ivy and oak that causes severe rashes if you touch it.

I am still wearing the long sleeves and long shirt to combat this possibility.  I am also carrying cortisone just in case.  There is also a lot of poison oak around here.  The one odd thing about poodle dog is that it is very fragrant.  It smells like skunked Canadian beer, and I like that smell.

The mild mannered poodle dog bush.

I ended the day a little early because I needed water to cook with and the only water for quite a while is at a forest service fire station.  They have a pit toilet, water, and a picnic table.  A perfect place to make a huge pot of spaghetti and chocolate pudding.  It’s 18 miles to the next water and there is another road walk specifically for poodle dog section that is really bad.  I think it’s about 8 or 10 miles of road walk.  If nothing else, it should make the day go by more quickly.

A typical southern California view on the Pacific Crest Trail.