The alarm went off at 4am, I mixed powdered milk with instant coffee in one of my water bottle (I am using empty gatordae bottle for water as well as an hydratin pack – the usual backpacking water bottles are significantly heavier than I care to carry). Packing everything from my dry campsite I felt sticky and grimy, using only a small amount of water to ssure my feet were as clean as possible. Feet are so critical. Nothing wil take you off the orad faster than a flat tire.
Mt water report, hand copied by David, reported a small spring at Guffy campground, about 15 mies away. Not bad, I could make that easily. I usuallt try to drink most of the water I am carying as I approach the next water source, reserving only about 20 oz. for emergency. This makes my pack lighter and, of course, prevent depredation.
I passed a beautiful morning and enjoyed lofty mountain grandeur ad some fascinating plant life as I walked, feeling strong and refreshed.
Coming into guffy Campground I headed directly for a large water tank one the hill. dry as a drum. Walking around I saw a gallon jug, empty. There were campers, campers with cars… I walked over to a campsite. Milo, Suzie and their dog Rainbow. They were super sweet and so helpful. We consulted my notes and our maps and the compass, the note noted a small spring to the north of the trail down a steep slope. we walked north and were now joined by a helful trail runner who knew th area. Looking down all steep slopes to the north there was no evidence of foorprints or springs. These steep slopes were cpvered with loos pine needles and looked very much like a recipe for nasty sliding.
I opted to walk on, milo offered me water but I had water enough if I was careful. Grateful for their kindness i moved on as the day got warmer.
The trail winds through a ski resort, Big Bear. I walked under lifts and then tantalizing past a water reservoir, filled with precious water but completely inaccessible.
I did find water at the visitor center, it was glorious, 4 gallons, well, 3 gallons by the time I was finished drinking and filling by bottles. I was never in any danger – there were people everywhere, day hikers and trail runners, weekend warriors.
Coming down to the trail head for mt Baden Powell, I had a wonderful surprise! David was hiking up with water, in case I could not find any. My trail angel, looking out for me. Oh that reminds me, do you remember Clax from TD 1? David has stayed in touch with him and he gave David a Trail Name: Bird Watcher! Isn’t that great!! I love it!
Mt Baden Powell is a hike similar to Mt Si except that it is over 9000 feet tall. On the way up I encountered many weekend hikers all so very friendly courteous and full of energy. Beth and her husband were a lovely couple who gave me details regarding Little Jimmy’s camp where I planned to spend the night. Beth has since been in contact with me and I hope to maintain contact.
I also met a enthusiastic group of hikers who were hiking with a former local Ranger, Dan – Dan the Man, and their 13 year old son.
I am sorry I did not get their namesbut they belong to a local hiking group and are avid hiking enthusiasts! Ladies, it was so great to meet you, if you are reading this please write your names in the comments so I can contact you!
Beth had told me that the turn down from Baden Powell was at an ancient tree called Wally.
I got to Wally at 5:42 and thought the 6 miles to Little Jimmy’s camp should be pretty straight forward and go quickly, the vuews were, of course, stunning, however I did encounter significant snow patches over the trail.
The trail itself to Little Jimmy’s is steep, covered with loose sand and scree, in the interest of caution I proceeded more slowly than I had hoped and arrived after dark.