Thursday, May 31, 2012

Agua Dulce (mile 454)

I'm in Agua Dulce, CA.  It's been 190 miles since my last blog post from Big Bear, so I will quickly summarize some of the highlights and lowlights:

+ Pretty mountains in between the desert sections
+ Meeting my friend Anna and some of her friends on the summit of Baden-Powell
+ A shower, bed, and laundry at the motel on I-15.  Plus (questionable highlight) McDonald's.
+ A nice hot spring on an officially closed but actually quite pretty section of the trail.
+ Pretty fog and ice on the trees before Baden-Powell
- Dodging poodle dog bush for days.  And some poison oak mixed in just for fun.  (I am at least mostly unscathed so far though.)
- Eroding trails across steep rocky or sandy slopes.  Especially in the high winds we had for a day or two.
- Hot hot desert with no shade.  Today is actually one of the hottest days but I got in to town before it got really bad.  The day I got to McDonald's I was feeling a little loopy from the heat.  Even without running low on water, there's only so much you can bake before you feel pretty tired.

Now I am at the Saufley's, where there are tents with cots in the back yard, internet, bikes to head into town (just a mile away), a shower, laundry, and a lot of hikers trying to stay in the shade.  It was 105 degrees a little while ago, but fortunately it's supposed to cool off 20 degrees tomorrow.

I'm actually staying here until Sunday.  Anna's giving Marina a ride out on Saturday evening, we'll figure out any last minute logistics, and then head into the desert together.  250 miles until Kennedy Meadows, which is the start of the Sierra.  A bunch of hot desert before then.  I definitely wouldn't want to hike 2200 more miles of desert, so I'm glad that the end of this phase is in sight.  And it will be great to have Marina back out on the trail!

I'm going to send my dad another SD card from here, so more pics soon.


  1. huh, never heard of poodle dog bush before. i would never have guessed it would be dangerous if i'd encountered it!

    1. It's not clear that it is worse than poison oak for most people, and in fact it might not cause a reaction in many people. Nobody's quite clear on this. I do have one friend who has a nasty and now infected rash on both legs, maybe from poodle dog bush. I have one tiny itchy patch on my wrist, but it could easily be something else, and it doesn't seem to be spreading or getting any worse, so I think I escaped.

    2. Eagerly following your story, Dan. Could you write more about the emotional and spiritual transformations that are happening to you, in addition to the physical aspects of the journey?