Monday, April 24 — day 29

PCT mile 383.9 to 390.2, plus 4.9 Old Endangered Species Alternate trail, plus PCT mile 394.0 to 400.64

The next section to hike has a trail closure to protect the endangered Red-Legged Frog. There are 3 alternate routes to choose from but I also need to consider the water situation of each before I decide. Since most PCT hikers start at the Southern Terminus after me (in April and May), there have been few recent water reports.  I have been posting updates daily to help the PCT herd behind me.

The 3 alternates to avoid the closed trail are:

1) hike on the Angeles Crest Highway (Hwy 2) for 5 or so miles and resume the PCT where it crosses the road — Yuck, road walk.

2) Take a series of nearby connecting trails that eventually reconnect with the PCT — longest option but all trail.

3) Hike the road for 2 miles, but then catch a trail that joins with the #2 alternate above.  Shorter, but road walking.

I chose to do option 2, however fate/chance had other plans for me…

It was a cold and windy morning. I got up and packed up but already most of the other hikers were already gone – wow, they are fast!  The trail rose up, over, and down ridges that Hwy 2 wins around. On top of one such ridge I got another view of where LA should be.

I got a better view of that valley.

I also saw the first of four Snow Plant sightings. These pop up early in the season, sometimes popping out of residual snow, hence the name. They grow to about 9″ tall and then sprout little round flowers.

Well somehow I missed the turn to my preferred alternate and found myself with either a 1 mile walk back to look for the turnoff or hike option 3, so down the road I went.  Luckily there were hardly any cars.  

I did get some cool views

I decided I could make the most of it by picking up trash as I walked.  After just 2 miles I had a pretty full bag.  It’s sad how much litter is on our roads.

I turned off the road to a campground with a trailhead that will connect me with the desired PCT alternate.  There were a fair number of forestry personnel felling trees and cleaning things up in prep for the summer campers. 

There were not that many flowers along the trail, but I did capture these shots

I’m not sure what the top flower is, but the bottom one is the ubiquitous Lupine.

During this hike I crossed another milestone! 

I arrived at my intended camp site, a closed for the season Boy Scout camp. I had the entire place to myself.  As it was again cold and windy I set up my tent and was in bed before sunset.  Here’s a view of my tent.

Thanks for reading!

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