[pct-l] Trip Report - SoCal C11-C15 2/17-2/18

cvlabrenz at sbcglobal.net cvlabrenz at sbcglobal.net
Wed Feb 20 01:27:29 CST 2008

Hi all,

I don't think we could have picked a better weekend to hike from Splinter's Cabin (C11) to Silverwood State Rec. Area entrance (C15).  First, a gigantic THANK YOU to "Shutterbug" for responding to my PCT-L call for a ride & picking us up willingly and on time to get us to our trailhead.  A true act of selfless kindness!  We were surprised at the lack of snow on the trail in comparison to what we saw driving to the trailhead around Lake Arrowhead.  We couldn't have had more than 50 yds of snow/ice on the whole trail.  Also, there were only about 5 blowdowns across the trail.  I've got pictures & estimated locations if anyone wants them.  Just let me know where to send the info.  Not too much in the way of rockslides, but the little bridge over Deep Creek built by the Trail Gorillas below the Mojave Forks Dam is gone.  It's good up to the creek bank, but just a bunch of twisted metal on the other side.  The water was about 20 ft across and mid-thigh deep (I'm 6' 2").  Lot's of water in all the creeklets up to the creek that's about an hour past the Grass Valley Creek ford.  There were a couple of trickles after that, but they'll be gone fast.  The Hot Springs was a hoot!  My 15 yr old son Zack had plenty to talk about at school today, as there were plenty of "nature-lovers" in the pools, out of the pools, and some just wandering around "trashed" and talking to themselves.  Kind of a unique crowd.  Maybe 20 people there at 1pm on Sunday.  Sunday night was great for hiking; we got started kind of late, so we didn't make it to MF Dam until around 6:30 pm. but the moon was so bright that it was casting shadows and we only had to use our headlamps to check the map.  We camped at the base of the dam where the sand was compacted, but not damp.  Not much traffic for a long weekend.  Except for the Hot Springs, we didn't meet anyone on Sunday.  On Monday, we met a couple of trail runners at the 173, and Pam, about an hour further, who's training to section hike with friend who's thru-hiking this year.  Passed a horse, rider, and dog a few hours later, and at the Siphon Plant a few guys from the San Diego area had just finished their day hike and gave us a few semi-frozen liters of water.  Good learning experience with equipment; I learned that when going under blowdowns, get as low as possible - clothes can be washed, but a ripped pack is not o.k.  Zack & I both need bigger boots - we both have black big toenails & heel blisters to prove it - kind of wierd since we've had these boots for a couple years already.  Thank heavens for moleskin. I need to learn how to anchor a rainfly in sand better; it blew off in the night & fine sand got into everything.  If anyone has suggestions, bring 'em on.  Finally, I could not have been happier with my Christmas present - a Mont-Bell UL Super-Stretch #3 sleeping bag.  I never had an expensive/quality bag before - what a difference!  It's light, really comfortable with the expandable/hugging sewing, and the no-snag zippers are great.  I was really warm in just my silkies & it was about 34 Sun. night.  I know it was only the first time out, but I only found 1 feather on my pad in the morning.  That's it for now - a couple more weekends and we'll have all of sections A to C knocked out.  Hope to meet you out there.

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