Monday, May 14, 2012

Day 22 and 23 - The Hobos

I'm convinced that we are all just a travelling group of voluntary hobos with money.
Yesterday we left the hot springs and continued down Deep Creek.  I'm guessing it gets its name from the steep, narrow canyon it flows through and the large deep pools around every corner; pools that undoubtedly have fish in them.  Upon reaching the end of the canyon there is an enormous dam that is holding back no water.  I wasn't even sure which side they planned to have the lake on.  One side had a marshy puddle and a stream incapable of filling a lake and the other would have flooded a spectacular canyon.  Doesn't look like it was ever finished.

After a bunch more miles I came around the corner of a hill expecting to see Silverwood Lake and instead saw another big dam rising a hundred feet above me.  I hadn't realized I was below the level of the lake at that point.  There was an old road with a bridge, under which I found Dayhiker and Stride having lunch.  We hung out there most of the afternoon as more and more hikers showed up.
After the extended lunch break we climbed up and around the lake.
At the far end of the lake we ate dinner at a day use area. There was a campground another mile around the lake, but no one really wanted to go that far off the trail. Most were planning to just camp in the day use area and hope no one cared. I pushed on around 7:30 and hiked a few more miles. It got dark around 8 or so, I hiked with my headlamp for a little while until I found a decent spot to cowboy camp. I laid out my groundsheet and sleepingbag on the side of the trail in some sand, next to a big rock. The sand wasn't quite as soft as I had hoped but I managed to sleep ok. Stride walked by shortly after I laid down, also hiking by headlamp.

The next morning I had 10 miles until McDonald's. It may seem strange for people to look forward to McDonald's a couple days before getting there, but that's what we do. It was at the I-15 crossing at Cajon Pass. Stride and I made it there at 9:30. We took a table in the shade outside in order to not make the place smell like hikers. We were planning on staying there much of the day since the next stretch was going to be hot and had little water. So, I had breakfast and lunch there. A dozen or more other hikers also rolled through that day. After the shade went away several of them brought out their umbrellas for shade. We turned a lot of heads. People stopping off I-15 to eat there probably aren't expecting to see a bunch of hikers hanging out on the McDonald's patio.
I got tired of sitting next to the interstate so I moved back to the trail, where it goes under the interstate and some train tracks. I stayed there a bit then found another spot in a dry creekbed a couple miles further. There was a sign under the freeway to make sure we were going the right way.
The group caught up to me laying on a lounge chair in the middle of a valley we crossed. There were several chairs and a water cache there. We hiked up the opposite ridge until we hit a dirt road that had enough flat ground to camp.


  1. Umbrellas?? You mean they carry umbrellas? Are these they kind that strap around the forehead? I think that would be quite a sight - a dozen dirty hikers with umbrellas sitting in McDonalds. Good thing there are signs pointing you in the right direction. Wouldn't want to get lost under an overpass! Are you keeping track of the number of lounge chairs you find along the trail? haha

  2. "Voluntary hobos with money." Hahaha. Yeah that sounds like a good way to describe you all. I love reading your posts and seeing your pictures. Keep it up! I can't wait to come join you for a couple days. :)