Sunday, May 16, 2010
The Station Fire Detour begins
Destination: South Fork Campground
We woke this morning with plans to head back to the trail. After a shower, we packed up our gear and discussed the trail ahead. We were facing two obstacles, Mt Baden-Powell (named after the founders of the Boy Scouts of America) and the Station Fire Detour.
Mt Baden-Powell is covered with snow, and several hikers have turned back after ill-fated attempts of adhering to the trail as fully as possible. Walls of snow provided a near impossible ascent. In fact, as this was written, Axilla, Danny, and Daredevil just arrived in camp telling us of their climb to the top. No one had signed the register until them yesterday, despite 50 plus hikers ahead of them.
Just past the 9400 foot summit, at Islip Saddle, the Station Fire detour begins. We chose to take the Manzanita Trail down to South Fork Campground, shortening a 16.7 mile hike (with summit) down to 5.2. This decision ultimately set us up for a leisurely walk over the next four days.
We could easily cover the distance in three, but Apricots' brother will be visiting us in Agua Dulce, and we wish to set ourselves up with a "nero" (near zero) day walking into Hiker Heaven. This would allow for us to fully suck in a day of relaxing, which will be appreciated after eleven walking days.
This morning Ray and Susan drove us to Phelan, a larger neighboring town, to pick up a few items before hitting the trail. Afterwards, we were dropped back at Inspiration Point, and began our hiking. The trail bounced around 7000 feet until it made a steep descent through a rich canopy of Interior Live Oaks to Vincent Gap. From there we dropped just over 5 miles down the Manzanita trail and emerged early to camp.
We enjoyed dinner around a small campfire which cooked up some serious spam and meat products. Now some of us are off filtering water, while the rest of us stare hypnotically at the campfire whilst writing in our journals.
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