Little Jimmy campground (mile 384) to mile 410, 26.9 miles (incl detour)
Cost: Camped, free
I left just after 6am and it looked like no one else had left yet. I struggled in the beginning with the incline and lost the path for a brief moment where a tree had fallen on the trail and there was some kind of landslide.
Starting at mile 390 (until 394), the trail is closed to help the endangered yellow legged frog so there’s a new 20 mile detour as well as the old 4.9 mile detour (the latter only adding an extra 0.9 mile).
The old 4.9 mile detour goes along a road for 2.7 miles which I know some people weren’t keen on… But I was! I was looking forward to some road walking where it was flat and I didn’t have to worry about every step, tripping over pine cones or rocks or fallen down trees! So I took the “old” detour and the 50 minutes it took me to walk along the road section I saw 4 cars on my side of the road and 3 on the other, at 9:30am on a weekday. I didn’t feel like the road walk was dangerous, there were quite a few lay-bys on each side of the road and every time I came to a blind bend, I would change the side of the road I was walking on.
I’d had no phone service for the last 24 hours and I was eager to know what the weather forecast was like. I came across 2 day hikers and they said there was rain expected in the PM. I stopped for lunch at Cooper Canyon Trail camp and chatted with another day hiker from LA (I often forget that I’m in America and right now I’m only a 1.5hr drive from LA!). The man from LA said there was the possibility of snow expected at around 5000 feet… I was expecting to go higher 😦
I didn’t see any PCT hikers all day and it was unusually cold so I wore my beanie, down jacket, rain jacket, wind pants and rain skirt. (ALL of my gear except my sleep clothes!) It rained briefly a couple of times then started hailing.
I met two Trail Angels (Detour & Jules) who had come out to offer PCT hikers strawberries and drinks. It was freezing at the time I met them so they made room in the back of their car so I could get in and chat. Thank you Detour & Jules 🙂
I was trying to hike a minimum of 25 miles, then 25 tomorrow so the next day when I would be arriving in Acton and wanting to take a rest at the campground, it would only be a short 10 mile day. I knew there was a campsite at the 23 mile mark, but there was only space for 1 tent and it was taken. The next campsite was another 2.6 miles further so I trudged on, looking for any space flat enough for my tent. I came across one space which I thought was perfect. It was protected from the wind and lovely and flat. I put my poles down and went to put my pack down when I realised this “perfect” space I was standing in, was surrounded by poodle dog bush… Noooo! I had actually dropped my hiking poles right on a bush 😦
It started hailing again and I was wearing gloves so I picked up my poodle dog bush contaminated poles and continued hiking on. I really hope I don’t get a reaction from my gloves or the polls.
I came to the next “campsite” kinda expecting someone else to be here as there’s room for 2 or 3 tents but there was no one here. As I was setting up my tent it started hailing again so I quickly got in and ate dinner inside my tent. Just after I finished dinner (ramen mixed with stuffing mix) it started snowing and it’s been snowing for the last 3 hours. I keep banging the snow off my tent as I don’t want the weight of the snow to collapse my tent but at the same time my eyes are closing… There’s at least a few inches on the ground already… I hope it stops soon and I hope I’ll be able to find the trail tomorrow!!