Day 53, June 6. ~27 mi
1/4 mi before Yellow Jacket Spring to 1/4 mile after Joshua Tree Spring
I saw a bear today!! Cute little bugger, but an adrenaline rush for me! Late afternoon just before Owen’s Saddle ~mi 662. I was thinking about how a bear is known to live at the Joshua Tree Spring ahead a few miles, and I was singing a Gillian Welch song (singing, my A.T. bear repellant…) then I saw some pine cones roll downhill onto the trail. I stopped, hmm. Peering up I saw this smallish light brown bear pawing about and he looked at me and got back to work. I ended up having to go around it downhill – apparently this bear knows downhill is the toilet and uphill is the food. Lots of scat. Back on the trail like 30 seconds later I come to the campsite at the Saddle with lots of tents and about 5 hikers making “CHEESECAKE”. woah. Gorgeous views and the trail drops on the other side to the sun and no wind. I scoot for a mile fleeing the bear-zone then stop to make mac-n-cheese and tuna and enjoy the view. I got a bit nervous as it was getting dark and I was approaching the spring but I figured the bear is hanging out a few miles over. Anyway I didn’t want to camp AT the spring so I lucked out and found a nice little tent side by the trail side 1/4 mile after the spring. I had got enough water from the small seasonal spring and washed up too which is nice. Racing thru twighlight when I came upon this nice tent site, silence, and stars. Perfect night, crescent moon, windless. I saw a bat.
This morning turned out not to be clear anymore! Light rain/fog and chilly. I didn’t dry my tent either so its a bit moist. It was very windy this morning as I began hiking and shoving Pop Tarts in me. Only one fresh pair of tracks turned out to be Special Delivery’s. Not sure what happened to that Australian guy. About 1/4 to 1/2 mile later all these cow prints come on trail. Then lots of footprints must be my crew. I didn’t realize I was only 1/4 mile before Yellow Jacket Spring, I had thought I was 2 miles from it still. Big discrepancy between milage in Half Mile and Erik the Black’s maps!! I took a break at a small seasonal spring with Special Delivery and made coffee Yummmmm. Cookie Monster came- he had climbed Skinner this morning in the fog and rain (Bummer! I had such amazing views!) Sunshine and Balls came and told me Stumbling Goat has my PCT Bandanna. Sweet!! Hmm, but I doubt they’ll catch me before Kennedy Meadows. If I didn’t mention it, Sunshine is an 11 year old girl thru-hiking with her father, Balls. Their mom and younger sister drove down from Oregon to visit them at Hikertown for a few days and she made a huge taco dinner for everybody. Great peeps.
Oh! I came on trail magic at Walker Pass Campground! I had a Pepsi and a cheese and onion quesadilla and lots of cookies. Oh man was I craving cookies, esp. oreos last night!! SWEET. I also got to refill my TP supply. Essential. What a super hike. I love this!