This was my "shakedown cruise," final preparation for my trip up the Pacific Crest Trail: Mexico to Canada.
|Leaving Chantry Flat|
The first public campground is Spruce Grove, neat and well-maintained. There was a bit of hiker traffic on this first day of the new year, most of them taking a loop route or headed for the summit of Mount Wilson.
After two nights at Spruce Grove I left with a mostly full pack, and was faced with the climb over Newcomb Pass. I arrived at my destination at 5:00 pm, and had to set up camp and cook dinner in the dark of the evening.
Gabrielino Trail is closed at the Bear Canyon junction due to rock slides, so the only way to get back to my car is to go back the way I came in, or to forge on up through this canyon. I had done some day hiking in here without a pack to prepare for this, and now the time had come.
I was correct: it took me 6 hours to negotiate that 3/4 of a mile to my next GPS waypoint. But that placed me at the launch point where the trail leaves the canyon floor and would be much better hiking.
It was fun to swap stories, compare equipment, and generally chew the fat with these 3 intrepid men. They left for Idle Hour the next day while I stuck with my plan to stay two nights at each campground, testing out the longevity of my food supply.
when the Alpine Tavern was still in business. Here I had Verizon signal and could check my email.
Add to that the weather, which had warmed considerably. The nights were too nice to huddle inside an enclosure: I left the rainfly off of the tent.
Here to my surprise I met Eric from Saint James Anglican, leading a large contingent of Boy Scouts. I joined them for dinner.
The only thing left to find out was if my car was still parked where I left it 21 days ago at Chantry Flat.