Big Trees, Yellow Flowers, and a Water Cache

By the time I woke up on April 12, it was 8 AM and my tent was getting seriously hot inside.  This spurred me to get my tent, air mattress, and sleeping bag rolled up and packed quickly and to eat my oatmeal breakfast.  Still, I didn’t get hiking until 9:30 AM, so this wasn’t going to be any big miles day.

I passed a seasonal spring that had water flowing.  Of course, by the time July rolls around, this stream will most likely be dry.  Soon I met my first northbound hiker, a young bearded guy who called himself Apple.  He said that he was heading to Walker Pass to catch the bus to Ridgecrest, a town to the east.  His plan was to rent a car and go back to places that he skipped due to considerable snow.  This is the first time I heard that two feet of snow fell at certain places along the trail over Easter weekend (March 30-31).  I passed a young woman and a man probably as old as I am (63), but we just exchanged pleasantries with no real conversation.

This day I climbed to almost 7000 feet, meaning that there are some trees with fat trunks.  This is part of the Sequoia National Forest, after all. 

The trail followed some rather steep and rocky sections where the yellow flowers could be seen close up.  I have looked on the web, and these may be some type of yellow desert daisy.  Please comment if you know more.  These flowers are everywhere at this time of year, and they must be very hardy to be able to thrive in such a dry climate in soil best classified as sand.

Toward the end of the day I stood at 7000 feet looking down into Bird Spring Pass.  I had a couple of bottles of water left over from the four bottles I filled in the morning.  I still had another day and a half before my Far Out PCT data app showed water close to the trail.  It looked like I would have to hike 2 miles out of my way and back on Saturday to get water at Willow Spring.

After hiking downhill 1500 feet for 3.5 miles, lo and behold, I found a huge cache of water at the saddle of the pass.  Thank you, trail angels!  Now my water problems were gone, and this is where I camped for the night.

I pitched my tent behind and to the right of the clump of Joshua trees, above the left side of the sign in the picture.  This is on the south side of the dirt road, with the water cache being on the north side of the road.


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