[transcribed from Jamie’s full handwritten notes]
Start: Whitewater Preserve, mile 218 End: Mission Springs Trail Camp mile 239.9
Total mileage today: 21.9 miles!
Today was a hard day for me. The 1st half, not so bad — walked through Mission Creek Canyon crossing a strong flowing Mission Creek about 10 times. So beautiful! Very green and lush and sweet smelling. I past a boatload of hikers along the way (propably 10). Even traversed two dense wetlands that were lush and sweetly scented. I love the smell of our desert wetlands. I think it’s the willows and mulefat that smell so good. It’s one of those orgasmic smells 🙂 I will always treasure. The second half of the day was much harder. Around 1pm it gets to be the hottest period of the day, and the norm is to wait it out and take a siesta. I luckily found some nice shade under a cotton wood tree near the creek just off trail to eat lunch under and rest. I though I was never going to find any shade that was accessible. That was 12:30. I unintentionally fell asleep and awoke at 3pm. I ate some more, filtered 1 litre of water and got back on the trail at 3:30. I felt groggy and tired as it was still pretty hot. I’m not sure if I just didn’t eat enough earlier in the day or if it was the combo of the constant climb (elevation gained today around 4500 feet!) and the intense heat. Probably all of the above. I thought I would never get to camp. It was really hard. Oh, and I past a good stretch of the infamous Poodle Dog bush near the creekside camp at the end of mission creek canyon. The group of guys just in front of that stopped to camp at that spot had no idea about the bush, so they were grateful for my warning. It was not in flower, so they thought it was something else.
I finally got to the Mission Springs Trail camp at 7:10 pm. I met up with Wade (Sweet Jesus) and two girls I just met this am for the first time, Songbird and Banana Ripper. They had already eaten and were just chilling, so I joined them after filtering ice cold spring water. Which, brings me to my water filter situation. I am using the Sawyer squeeze system, a popular choice amongst hikers. It comes with 3 bags that you fill with dirty water, and you squeeze the water through the filter that attaches to fill up a clean bottle or platypus. It is good, but takes forever. You have to get an additional container with a wide mouth opening that is small, to get the water out of places like a barrel where there is no strong vertical flow; otherwise you spend a LOT of wasted time trying to fill up the small mouthed bag. It took me half an hour to filter 3 liters this way. AND the water was ice cold, so I had numb hands. ANd the squeezing takes a long time and requires 2 hands, which is hard to accomplish, beacuse you are holding onto the clean water container. In summary, I like it, but wish for it to be more efficient. Others are using Aquamira tablets, or bleach, or gravity filters, or pumps.
I cooked my dinner of rice and beans and coconut chia peel goo (a backpacking meal from Outdoor Herbivore that I love), set up the tent and got ready for bed. I hiked alone although I passed about 12 people on the trail. There are seven people camping here tonight. Today I met a bunch of new folks and they were all nice enough, but didn’t strike a chord with any of them. I enjoy Wade the most so far out of this “new crowd.” All my other buddies are ahead of me now, except for Patrick, DB and Giant. Wade is a super sweet dude with red wavy hair and a full beard, which is why he is named Sweet Jesus. He is young and works at Nomad’s in JTree. Very cool guy and we have about the same pace. I hope tomorrow is better for me. I can’t wait to get to Big Bear because I don’t think I brought enough food this time 😦 I plan to do a grocery store resupply (first time) eat a big meal at a restaurant, stay the night and head out the next am early.
Frazier will then meet me when I get to Wrightwood, hopefully next Tuesday! YAY. It was so hard leaving him this morning. More so because I know he would love to be continuing with me, and since we had such a great time together on the trail these past two weeks. We really do make a great team. It was so easy hiking/camping together. I love him so much. I know he will try his hardest to hike with me again in the Sierras so that makes it a bit easier. Well, I am friggen exhausted so time for some Zzzz’s.
Love to all!—Jamie Haney [transcribed on 5/20/13] Start: 6amEnd: 7:10PM 3 hour afternoon siesta