May 21 (Day 20)

294.7 to 317.9

Daily miles: 23.2

Today is the day of Deep Creek Canyon.  No wind last night, and none in the morning as well (nice!).  I decide to sleep in until 6:30 and take my breakfast (Pop Tart) and coffee in bed while the sun turns the mountains the color of mountains.

At first it’s rolling hills in all directions, little scrub bushes and the odd pine here and there.  Clouds boiling up and spilling over a distant range, but innocently.  All is well this morning.

The trail dives down, the hills encircle me, the hills grow in size and stature until they are more-than-hills. And then there’s Deep Creek moving and rushing way below me.  I can see Wind playing on its surface but he’s far away and I don’t think he means business today.  Occasionally the creek grows and forms pools that look deep enough for diving, but there’s no trail down there and they way is steep.

By noon I’m at the famous Hot Springs, a highlight of the trail, but since today is Saturday it’s packed.  There are naked people, and plenty of alcohol and pot, so I don’t stay for more than a few minutes because this just isn’t my scene (obviously).  The rest of the afternoon is spent walking along the sides of the mountains, contouring in and out of the nooks and crannies, as the PCT often likes to do.  I meet the famous trail angel Coppertone in the evening and he gives me a piece of apple pie.  Coppertone is a tan old man who lives in his RV and follows hikers along the trail, doling out treats along the way.  Remarkable people out here.  The pie gives me energy to make it to camp in the evening, where I drink water and try to sleep through the full moon.

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Deep Creek

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