Ellie Harmon

Day 21: mission creek trail camp to ~260


[caption id=”” align="alignnone” width="500”]Clothesline at camp Clothesline at camp[/caption]

Our clothes were soaked with sweat by the end of the day yesterday, so Luke set up this handy clothesline for them overnight. Nice and fresh (as far as hiker clothes go anyway) by the morning!

[caption id=”” align="alignnone” width="500”]Filtering water at camp Filtering water at camp[/caption]


We had a long morning at camp since we got in late last night. As you can see from my journal snippit, I found the spring this morning to be pretty magical. Maybe it’s because we’ve been in this water-poor area for so long, but it was pretty amazing to see this cool clear liquid just dripping out of the roof of a mud cave in the forest.

[caption id=”” align="alignnone” width="500”]New signage – changed to stickers instead of metal plates to make them less attractive for stealing? New signage – changed to stickers instead of metal plates to make them less attractive for stealing?[/caption]

[caption id=”” align="alignnone” width="500”]Trail on an old road today Trail on an old road today[/caption]

[caption id=”” align="alignnone” width="500”]Don’t stray too far from the trail! Don’t stray too far from the trail![/caption]

Some signs from our walk today, which involved a lot of roads. We were within sight (and sound) of hwy 38 for most of the day. And lots of little gravel FS roads seemed to make the connections between. I was surprised we didn’t see more people enjoying their weekend out here! Pretty different than the roads like this along the AT which can be a mess on weekends! Guess people in the cities around here are more into beaches than mountains in the summertime.

[caption id=”” align="alignnone” width="500”]Road Sign Road Sign[/caption]

[caption id=”” align="alignnone” width="500”]Another road sign Another road sign[/caption]

[caption id=”” align="alignnone” width="500”]Another road sign Another road sign[/caption]

Bonus of all this road walking, LOTS of trail magic!! Beers at onyx summit which we later found out were left by aloha – thanks!!! – along with the regular soda and water cache from natures inn (a hotel in upcoming big bear, clearly doing a little last minute marketing). Then at the next road crossing another soda cache from the big bear hostel, along with an old loveseat recliner!

[caption id=”” align="alignnone” width="500”]Trail magic at Onyx Summit Trail magic at Onyx Summit[/caption]

Our goal for the day was to get within a few miles of town so we can walk in early enough for breakfast tomorrow. the caches slowed us down a lot.. We got happily stuck chatting with other hikers at each one. But we still made it to a nice camp site a couple miles back from the road and finished cooking dinner all before dark. …Even with a stop to collect some dirt for the biogeography project I’m doing with Christina at this lovely spring:

[caption id=”” align="alignnone” width="500”]An amazing trailside spring! An amazing trailside spring![/caption]

Since doing the project, I’m really attentive to how fast the dirt beneath my feet appears to change each day. Colors and textures. And very curious about how things like a little spring might affect its local environment. Though I’m thinking I shouldn’t avoid collecting dirt at the ‘unnatural’ and dead looking places like the mess of sand and gravel on the i-10 approach. Maybe the soil there is dead (which would be interesting) or maybe it harbors magical smog eating bacteria? Who knows!

[caption id=”” align="alignnone” width="500”]Evening Sun Evening Sun[/caption]

[caption id=”” align="alignnone” width="500”]Walking in the pretty evening light Walking in the pretty evening light[/caption]

Really enjoy walking in the evenings as it starts to cool off and as the light makes everything seem to shine and glow.

[caption id=”” align="alignnone” width="500”]Luke takes a sunset picture Luke takes a sunset picture[/caption]

[caption id=”” align="alignnone” width="500”]Sunset Sunset[/caption]