Day 20, May 23, Holcomb Creek to Grass Valley Creek, 26.5miles (42.6km)
Today was hot! Let me start by saying that! Starting early seemed quite tough this morning. I didn’t sleep that well. My mattress is loosing any sense of comfort. I should be able to pick up my new one by the weekend. Looking forward to that!
So I got out of my tent around 6 and was walking around 6.30.
First stop was going to be my first encounter with Deep Creek. I got there around 9 and took a break, had some food, filled up on water and enjoyed this little oasis. Around 10 I crossed the bridge, yes indeed, a bridge, and walked the next 10 miles on the west of the Creek. The scenery was stunning! But it was hot! I noticed early in the day, around 7.30, that it was going to be a hot day. As soon as the sun was out, I started boiling!
Halfway in this 10 mile stretch something strange happened. I heard a human being 10ft (3m) higher up going through some bushes. Soon I saw another one. I knew something was wrong. They started shouting at me: “Did you not see that gigantic rattlesnake on the trail?” I hadn’t seen or heard anything. Must have taken off. They said it moved just next to the trail. I guess the snake and I were both far too warm to be bothered by each other…
I kept hiking and arrived at the well known Deep Creek Hot Springs. For the locals this is a place were they feel ‘free’. Lots of hippies hanging around here, with or without clothes. Back in the days Charlie Manson and his followers used to hang around here.
I took my break, very needed, got some water, upstream of course, and just sat down in the shade!
After a 2 hour break I started on my last stretch of the day, another 10 miles. I soon crossed the creek on another bridge, yeah yeah, on walked next to the creek for the next miles. You should know that this is a popular area for day tourists, hence the bridge.
Later on I had to cross another creek, only reached by pct hikers, and this bridge was, lets say, a bit different. See for yourself, I like them all. We gotta take it as it is!
With 4 miles to go I got to Hwy173 and there was Coppertone! He is a trail angel that follows the herd with his camper. He stays for about one week at a spot and rides his van about 100 miles further down the trail. By doing so, some people run in to him quite often. This year however he does not cover the whole trail since he has a family-reunion this summer. I was happy to meet him at least once. He ran out of his famous roat beer but he offered me all kind of snacks and fruit. I had two donuts.
I couldn’t stay too long because I had another 4 miles to go and it would soon be dark. The last 30 minutes I walked with the help of the flaslight on my phone. Tent was up in a few minutes and now it’s time to get to bed!
Just one more thing:
So, you probably already noticed that it was boiling hot today. Still, I have to be grateful for the true air conditioning! Imagine a slight breeze on your sweat-covered face! Most of the time it only lasts for a few seconds but it’s such a relief on these hot days!