Day 42: Willow Spring Alternate

May 23, 2014
Miles today 20
total miles 622

Today was another amazing day. We all got up and moving. We pulled out the first 6 miles pretty fast. While Owl, Slims, and Angles got out first we all were able to meet up at Landers Spring. We had run into a few SoBo section hikers who told us to leave trash in the bag at their car. It was a great treat. Also the water source was nice clean and cold. It made for a lovely place to take a second breakfast break.

A bit later Arctic came along with a huge smile in his face. He dropped his pack and showed off his Crush soda. Then he started pulling fresh fruit, cinnamon buns, and yogurt out. We all looked on in shock, where did he plunder such goodies? Turns out he met a woman who just bought some land near the trail and she drove by the previous road as he passed. She hooked him up with all sorts of amazingness, and he in turn shared with us. What a guy!

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After our huge snack break where I am fairly certain I ate more than 1000 calories we pushed on as a group. I haven’t group hiked in a while. It was a lot of fun. We laughed a lot and enjoyed the amazing view. From old growth pine forest to an older burned area with tons of fresh flowers in bloom. It was really magical. This section is by far one of my favorites.

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After a delicious lunch break on a huge rock overlooking the valley below we headed towards Kelso road. There was a small water cache, and a woman by her car. She had a bunch of sodas and was making a small magic cache of her own. We all grabbed some stuff and brought it to its destination. A huge thanks to Writer (section hiker and wife of a 2013er) the soda was just what we needed!

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We hiked on, in search of the alternate trail to the water… The only water for sure for the next 30 miles. We found it and enjoyed figuring out how to get where we needed to go. There were a few tricky spots… (We took to calling them “non sunbeam spots” as earlier in the day a fall nearly sent me on an epic roll down the hill. Don’t worry I am super graceful, anyone who has hiked with me can tell you that.) But we all escaped with nothing worse than a few scratches.

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As we got to the water source we stumbled upon a smallish green rattle snake. Of course it had to escape us by heading towards the water. But after a few photos it let us pass. We filled up water, ate dinner, and headed back to the trail.

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Although we didn’t hike as far as planned, it was a great day. The sunset that ended it all was icing on the cake. Today will go down as one of my favorites… Good people, amazing views, and happy hiking.

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