Agua Dulce

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After a good days rest in Wrightwood we got a ride back to the trail with Brett, who had also given us a ride into town two days earlier. We were with Drama and Lorax and headed up Baden Powell to the highest point we’ve been on the trail so far, about 9,400ft. It was a tiring climb and on a hot day, after that we slugged on through the heat for 20 miles and made camp.
In the morning we had a short road walk to detour the endangered toads and about 12mi in we got to Boy Scout camp, which was just a locked up cabin in the woods, but the porch had shade and there was water so we breaked there for the afternoon. There was a group of hikers that passed through, some new people we hadn’t seen before. It had been a week since we had seen anyone new on the trail. We met Sexy Legs and Deer Hunter, who are friends from Missouri, as well as Tumbleweed, Iceman, Beeve, and some others. Most of them moved on into the heat while Colin and I decided to wait till evening to continue on. The next reliable water source was 18 miles away so we wanted to conserve water and carry less by doing the miles at night. we left around 5:30 and were cruising until we hit a section of trail where there was poodle dog bush everywhere. Poodle Dog Bush is the plant that comes up after fires and like poison oak will give you a rash and blisters that can last up to 2 weeks if you touch it. So having to tip toe, side step, and shimmy up the trail really slowed us down. We got through it and got to an grassy field around 10pm, threw down our bags and crashed.

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We woke the next morning after a great night sleep on the soft grass and did the last 7 miles to water which ended up being mostly on a dirt access road because the trail was closed because of a recent fire in the area. We got down to the fire ranger station where there was water, and they were rebuilding everything, I’m assuming because of the fire. We had some granola for breakfast there and then continued on. It was a hot dry section, not much shade available, and we were warned by the water report that there was a lot of poodle dog bush in the area. So pretty much not our favorite section. About 12 miles in we found some shade and rested. We were right next to a back road that paralleled the trail and as we sat there most of the other hikers that we’re hiking through came up from the trail to road walk the next couple of miles because the poodle dog bush was so bad. We decided to follow suit and then rejoined the trail at Messenger Flats where we had 5 more miles to get to the ranger station and water. When we got to camp we had a great pesto pasta dinner and planned to sleep in because we only had 18 miles to town the next day.
We had a nice relaxed slow morning with hikers passing by as we hung out and had breakfast in our sleeping bags. We finally got going around 8:30 and had a nice mellow 8miles to the Acton KOA. They had a small convenience store where we got snacks and they also let us use their pool which was awesome and felt so good. After passing most of the day there we continued on to Agua Dulce. We stopped at the Sweetwater Cafe where upon walking in got a round of applause from a group of people eating there and many of them came up to us and asked about our hike. We got some giant burgers and devoured them quickly. Sufficiently full we headed out for Hiker Heaven, a mile away, where the Saufley’s have opened their yard to hikers. Everything is very organized there. They have a tent with computers to use the Internet, you give them all of your laundry and they have loner cloths you can use while they do your wash, there are bulletins with trail information and trail angel information for up the trail, boxes people have sent line the garage walls, and they have flat rate boxes so you can send resupplies ahead to yourself right from their house. And then there is a trailer with a kitchen and shower to use, a fire pit outside, and big tents and cots everywhere to sleep on. We threw our stuff down and socialized around the campfire before calling it a night.
Today we have a lot to get done as we have to buy all of our food for the Sierras and send it ahead, so about 30 days of food, should be quite the shopping trip. I also have to get new shoes because my 20 dollar orange shoes from K-Mart blew out. Hopefully we will get everything we need done by this afternoon and be able to get some miles in this evening.

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