Start: Large Oak Camp
End: Lake Morena
Miles: 16

After a cold night I was ready to get hiking. I was trying out my new Zpacks hood with my quilt from last year. Still cold and no improvement. During the night I put on my down jacket so my core was warm but the legs/feet never got comfortable. Temps were down at about 40F, elevation around 5100 ft. After sleeping in, I was on trail by 6:45 am which netted beautiful desert morning hiking. A slight breeze rustled the chaparral around me but the sunny skies soon turned the terrain warm.

Spotted either a Anna’s Hummingbird or Allen’s Hummingbird. It flashed its iridescent red throat as it seemed to be issuing a warning. It was a first time experience when the hummingbird buzzed my ankles as it sped up the trail.

The mental fortitude kicked in as the afternoon heated up and the miles slipped by slowly. It’s hard to acknowledge that the body is not in the same condition as when I left the trail. Despite that, I was happy to have knocked out the 16 miles by 2pm.

Rolled into the kickoff where the campground had filled in the last day. Hikers everywhere. Time to relax and grab a beer. Surprise Gourmet dinner trumped the mass burrito dinner. Thanks Gourmet! Movie night. Reunions. Hugs. Happy.

Yucca seed pods
Spines = modified leaves = cactus protection = pain for me


Morning snack time
2009 relic: A helicopter went down and the scenery is scattered with unexploded rounds. Fun!





Trail tread through the dry Cottonwood Creek


Whip snake?

IMG_20140425_130202021 IMG_20140425_132924589

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