This day started out following the Deep Creek, which had eroded its way down a deep canyon. This made for a nice but not extraordinary scenery. After that came Deep Creek Hot Springs, which was an area with natural hot springs and clothing optional bathing. Where the springs ran out into the creek small tubs had been made to relax in. I think the hot springs would be cooler on a cold day, so to say it. The place was strewn with litter and oozed of weed and made for a slightly underwhelming experience. Still, it was nice to get some of the dirt off.
After that came a section with many more of the previously mentioned slanting and narrow stretches where the trail had somewhat been washed away. Some of which you would really hurt yourself if you fell off from it. In addition my left ankle was starting to hurt and I was getting tired. So all in all my morale was down.
Near the end of the canyon there was a ginormous dam called the “Mojave Forks Dam”, which seemed odd an odd construction in the middle of the dessert and considering the small size of the creek, but apparently it’s for flood protection of the downstream regions for very rare flash flood occasions. There was a small ford of the river, but I just waded through barefooted in the luckily only ankle foot deep water
At one point the trail crossed a road and a small RV was holding by and an older man with a friendly face and a medium sized grey beard. It was trail magic again! Perfect timing! We sat in garden chairs in the shade by a garden table and I had cookies, a donut, a banana and a root beer float. The latter is the the previously mentioned chewing gum flavored soft drink topped with ice cream (the “float”). Nice! He, who in this context would be called a “trail angel”, was a former trough hiker nicknamed “Copper Tone” who had done the trail in 2006. Now he drove around the country in his RV. A bit later a friendly Japanese hiker who I had been bumping into the last couple of days caught up on us and also sat down. His English spoken English was very bad, but he was in luck because our trail angel had been a Christian missionary in Japan, and spoke quite a bit of Japanese, as far as I at least could grasp. I left that place in a much better mood. Walked to what was supposedly a camp site according to the trail app, but it was only a small piece of dry creek bed, and the next listed camp site was nearly twenty miles away. Luckily I got a tip from another hiker about an unlisted camp site nearby. He was walking very slowly and lagging behind all of his friends because of foot problems. It was a nice spot. I set up my tent, but only because I still haven’t accustomed myself completely to cowboy camping and the lack of separation from the wild life.
Spot the trail line
300 (not the movie)