Everything’s Going Swimmingly
Greetings from mile 369.3 on the Pacific Crest Trail! We are zeroing today in Wrightwood, CA. This may be the closest to L.A. I’ll ever get, god willing. Everything has been going absolutely swimmingly. My feet are suffering a bit – they’ve always been my weakest link – but otherwise I feel strong and good and very very happy. I am so grateful for every step, every view, every trail angel, and every friend out here. This trail is like living inside one long Mary Oliver poem. “And I am in that delicious and important place, roaring with laughter, full of earth-praise.”
We’ve been largely out of the desert since we left Idyllwild at Mile 179.4 so the temperatures and hiking conditions have been beautiful. It’s cold at night and sometimes the winds are wild but I’ll take that over still desert heat any day. There’s also water! Water, water everywhere. Occasionally we do have stretches of 20 miles or so without water, but we always know in advance and are careful to plan accordingly.
Water Bodies! Water Babies! Water Boobies!
My first time being submerged in water so far was in Whitewater River with Scrub, Gusher, and some of our other trail family members: Valley, Atom, Rosie, and Fiona. This was the first day that my friend Scrub from the AT came to join us (he ended up hiking a century in five days with us). We picked him up at Mile 218.5 at Whitewater Preserve. The 8 mile morning hike into this spot was one of the more gorgeous 3 hours of my life. At the preserve we ate pancakes, celebrated the birth of the wonderful and stupendous and badass Gusher (Leila), and rested our feet. Then we came across the most glorious river! We had to dunk ourselves. Waterfalls! Leila’s birthday! So fresh and so clean clean!
Second water submersion was at Mile 307.9 at Deep Creek Hot Springs. I soaked for hours as the sun set over the walls of Deep Creek Canyon. Grinning alongside Gusher, Rosie, and many others, but not so many that it was annoying. Lots of different pools, all naturally fed by the hot springs, all perfect. And only two of the dozen or so locals were on mushrooms! They were quite good-natured. Me, Rosie, and Gusher cowgirl camped on the sand near the hot springs that night. I woke up in the middle of the night, all cozy in my sleeping bag, spotted my two best pals snoozing gently and contentedly beside me, looked up at the stars sparkling in between the steep canyon walls on both sides, heard the nearby creek gurgling and splashing, and rolled over to snuggle back into my dreams. This. This is a special kind of bliss.
Our third swim of the hike so far was at Mile 326.3 in Silverwood Lake. Skinny dipping and floating without a care for a long time. Couldn’t think of a thing that was bothering me. We dried ourselves off in the sun and banged out the final three miles of the day as the sun set to our left. Always to our left. I told Gusher how happy I was to be hiking the PCT with her. Things are running more smoothly than a baby’s bottom. Here’s hoping it stays that way.
Thanks for reading y’all! Happy Trails!
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.