Arriving from BadenPowell after dark, I did not find the Piped spring last night. This morning a kind Russian couple was up early and directed me to the spring. I had never seen a piped spring before. It was just a pipe coming out of the trail bank and gushing water! I washed as best I could and filled all my containers. David would meet me in about 7 miles to transport me past the endangered Mountain Yellow legged Frog trail closure.
The frog emerges from its wintering site soon after snowmelt. Its breeding season begins once the highest meltwater flow is over, around March through May in the southern part of its range, and up to July in higher mountains to the north. Fertilization is external, and the egg cluster is secured to vegetation in a current, or in still waters sometimes left floating free. The juvenile may be a tadpole for 3 to 4 years before undergoing
The tadpole is also the favorite food of the mountain trout so there is good reason it is endangered.
I met Stick Man, a thru hiker from Maine, on the way down to the Eagle’s Roost pick up point with David. He followed me down to Eagle’s Roost, we shared olives, stories and Gatorade on the short highway transport around the frog;s trail closure.
Leaving David with a hug, I continued up, seeing Stick man only once more, resting in the shade by a spring.
David had been telling me about Lone Star, Texan he had met at trailhead. Happily, I finally encountered Lone Star
We passed the 400 mile mark together
Lone Star left me at the next highway crossing. He was waiting for Siesta, who had knowlege of a great restaurant not far down the highway.
I traveled the rest of that day alone through beautiful country.
After my late night coming into Little Jimmy’s and my inability to find the piped spring before bed I began praying very exactly for requests for a place to rest this evening; 1) Water, available and findable; 2) A flat, legal place to camp, near the water; 3) Arriving before dark.
The best option seemed to be the Mill Creek Fire station at MP 419. I wasn’t sure what was there for camping options, if any. About a mile away I passed a tent, Steven called out to me, he had decided on a dry camp tired and unsure if camping was allowed at the fire station – hmmm – I stuck to my simple prayer request and continued on.
Arriving at the fire station before dark and walking all around the building, I saw a blocked off water spigot and nowhere to camp, looking up hill slightly there was an outhouse with a picnic table and what appeared to be some kind of family party. Calling up I asked, “Do you know where there is water?” They all gestured eagerly replying, “it’s up here!”
Okay, now I chuckle at God’s sense of humor. This was a party of thru-hikers, the picnic table covered in pizza boxes, a giant hose of water, a sparking clean outhouse with toilet paper. A huge lovely flat sandy area with tents already raised, and, just to top it off…seriously now- a whipped cream cake with a cherry on top!!!!