[pct-l] Section C Trip Report

Frederick Baier frederickbaier at hotmail.com
Sat Sep 6 00:37:11 CDT 2014

Aloha All, 

I noted Chris "Cotton" Hauser's trip report and thought I would offer some observations on Section C (I-10 to I-15, or Mile 209 through 342) for any current south bound thrus and all the prospective NOBOs for next year. I finished it today, so this is current. I saw no other section hikers. I saw one day hiker, a dog walker, a nude dude in Deep Creek, and, interestingly, a prospector near Mile 338. A quick disclaimer, my son and I set out from behind Ziggy & Bears (mile 211), since I had walked that far in May this year. We executed a strategic retreat at mile 222 due his worsening knee and hip. Given the 105+ temps on 8/30/14 at Whitewater, I felt it was the right safety call--all to say that we did not cover mile 222 through 246...essentially the Mission Creek area up to Fish Creek TH and slightly beyond. I picked up the trail at mile 246 (Coon Creek Cabin) and continued on through to mile 342...with son and newly procured rental car as a mobile support crew.  

Water conditions were surprisingly good (I expected little to no water). I noted the following: (1) Water at Whitewater was flowing well, clear and cold at mile 220.4 on 8/30/14;  (2) There was approx 4 gallon cache at Coon Creek Jump Off/Cabin where trail crosses forest road. The water was tied to the PCT post sign at approx Mile 246, as of 8/31/14; (3) Onyx Summit Cache (mile 252) had approx 4 gallons as of 8/31/14; sent a thank you text to Papa Smurf and Mountain Mama; (4) Arrastre Camp, mile 256.1 faucet was dry as of 8/31/14; (5) Arrestre Spring, mile 256.6, north of camp had a strong trickle, approx 1 ltr per min as of 8/31/14; additional trickles crossed the trail twice in the next 2-3 miles; (6) Doble Spring at mile 268.5 had a strong trickle from faucet, approx 1.5 ltr a minute as of 8/31/14; (7) Caribou Creek, mile 274.9, had sluggish, silty pools near the trail, no real 'flow' detected, as of 9/1/14; (8) Little Bear Spring, mile 285.4, had excellent flow from faucet. Horse trough was also full as of 9/2/14; (9) Holcomb Creek from 291.34 through 293.7 was flowing well. It was clean and cold as of 9/2/14. I did not check the creek at Bench Camp; (10) Mile 298.3, Deep Creek was flowing well. There was water all the way down the canyon; most small tributaries were dry, as of 9/3/14. One, which I forgot to note which, had a small trickle.; (11) the Mojave river, mile 314 had a small, slow, warm flow as of 9/3/14; (12) there was no cache at Hwy 178 as of 9/3/14, nor did I expect there would be; (13) Below Cedar Springs Dam, Mile 323.3, the water course was marked by slow pools, covered with algae and small green plant growth as of 9/4/14; (14) as expected, the water was on at Cleghorn and other Silverwood Lake locations, meaning miles 328-329 as of 9/4/14; and finally Miles 329.78 through 341 are dry.

Other observations: 
(1) For me, first sighting of poodle dog bush was just 150 yards shy of Little Bear Springs. A text book specimen. Continued to see poodle dog bush in varying densities all the way to mile 342. Most of it was easily avoidable and I only had to "slalom" through it in a few spots. Wear pants is all I can say and watch where you're walking. 
(2) Lots/lots of mountain bike activity in the Big Bear Lake area beginning near Mile 260. I did not see anyone on bikes on the trail, but tons of tire tracks. Tire tracks continued until near Deep Creek/Splinter's. None noted through the canyon. Additional tire tracks noted as I left Silverwood Lake for mile 342. Ended after about 5-6 miles. Simply noting it here for others to be aware of. 
(3) No major trail washouts anywhere, but a couple of "oh Jesus" spots in Deep Creek mostly; where if one isn't paying close attention, it could mean a less-than-terminal-velocity, face-scraping, pack-stripping, bone-breaking, 300 foot trip at an 85 degree down angle, only to potentially drown if you survive the first part. A significant rain could alter the situation, for the worse. I don't know honestly if there are trail crews monitoring this section (forgive my ignorance on this matter), but if there are, I offer the observation as one indicator of where some attention may be needed in the spring.
(4) Lastly, two cigarette butts in plain view. One obviously left to burn out, which it thankfully did. All I could think was YGBSM. 

Looking forward to covering the missing 24 miles of Mission Creek in the spring of 2015 and then a quick hop, skip, and jump over to I-15 to continue on with my "multi-year thru hike" in Sections D and E with the new herd.
Hope this helps someone.
Much Aloha, Fritz

Sent from my iPad

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