Tuesday, April 25 — day 30

PCT mile 400.64 to 424.27

Today was again a cold and windy start, but had a beuatiful sunrise.

The trail today continues following the Angeles Crest Highway down towards LA until it turns west climbing a ridge to drop down towards Acton.

Along the way I came across a tree that was fighting quite the battle against mistletoe.  Most of the green is mistletoe but a few branches still have oak leaves.

Speaking of mistletoe, I have seen four types of parasitic plants so far on my adventure — the common mistletoe, above, here’s a closer view

Pine mistletoe

And this one, not sure what it’s name is – note the red berries

And Dodder or Witches Hair

Today was also my first sight of the dreaded Poodle Dog Bush — a shrub that loves to grow in recently burned areas.  It causes a Poison Oak like rash when touched.  I had never heard of this plant until reading up on the PCT.  Here’s what it looks like.

It turns out I would be avoiding touching this for a he next 40 miles!  

I also found the jawbone of a deer, I think.

I also came across these leaves that decomposed into just the lacey structures 

Also I came upon Gooseberry in bloom — later in the summer these bushes will be covered in edible spiny red berries.  They are a favorite of coyotes and bears.

The area I hiked through burned last year but is regrowing fast.  This creates a two-layer look with green below and black/white above

I arrived at my intended campsite at about 3pm, so I decided to hike up the next ridge.  At about 5pm I started looking for a campsite – the problem was that the trail traversed a long ridgeline with very few flat spots.  At last, and just before the sun was about to set I found a good site, but it was too small to set my tent up on.  Someone had lost the green rainfly for their tent, so I decided to improvise a combo groundcloth and windbreak so I could cowboy camp.  I tied two ends to branches on nearby stumps.

It worked pretty well and I had another great sleep!

Thanks for reading!

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