Monday, June 22nd / 23 miles / 3,005’ gain
Deep Creek Hot Springs to Silverwood Lake Campground
We were woken up about 2:30 am to: “Oh God! Oh, God!” coming from a couple relatively close by followed again by more amorous sounds at about 3 am from another couple. The sex must not have been that good, because instead of blissfully dozing off to sleep this couple talked quite loudly for the next hour – until we decided to just get up. We started moving down the trail around about 3:45 am.
It the early morning twilight we came across a nice arch bridge.
Despite the coolness of the hour, we were barely 3 miles away when we figured Zach’s paws needed some maintenance. Nothing real serious, but we put extra super glue on all of his paw pads as a precaution. As we continued hiking, the sun came up and we found that there was graffiti everywhere! We must be getting close to LA, well to be accurate Hesperia.
Below the Mojave Dam the little hiker bridge was washed out and we had to ford Deep Creek. To get there, it was a bit confusing, and we ended up bushwhacking it through reeds as tall as we were to get to the creek’s edge. Then we took off our shoes and crossed. This was Zach’s first swim. I can’ say he liked it very much! After the river crossing, Zach made sure to sit his butt down in a whole bunch of cockleburs – so it was another 20 minutes before we could get going again so we could try to work all of those things out of his fur!
Even though it was still early, it started to feel like we had descended into hell. It got very hot – at least in the mid-90’s and there was little shade as we headed east, contouring along the low hills that border the south edge of the Mojave Desert. We could see our destination all day as we hiked.
Zach was having a hard time as he usually does when it gets hot and we had to take a lot of breaks as we spent the entire day following along the edge of the Mojave. It made for a very long, hot day.
Right before cross over the ridge to the lake, we met a guy from the Silverwood Lake power station and got him to take our picture.
Finally seeing the lake lifted our spirits but there were still many miles to go before we got to camp.
We didn’t make it to the Silverwood Lake campground until 6:30, given our early start we were pulling in from a 15 hour hike. Now mind you, we had been looking forward to this for 4 days now. We had checked out its campground before for our resupply and we knew this place had showers. What a major disappointment! This place was completely packed with car campers – beer bottles, loud music, screaming kids were everywhere. Kelly went to take her shower first while I watched Zach. Her shower warmed up from cold to ‘cool’ and that was the best she could get. So she ends up standing there with shampoo in her hair and soap all over her body when the quarters ran out. So she comes out with all of her dirty laundry and changed and went out to wait in line at one of the showers on the other side. Only there was a very large family who got in line just before he did – and they are all taking their sweet time. Finally she gave up waiting and rinsed her hair and my body as best she could in the bathroom sink.
By this time it was getting dark and we hadn’t even set up camp. I was really bummed out as I had hoped to have a relaxing shower, nice dinner and a full night’s sleep. It was painfully obvious by now that none of this was going to happen. I floated the idea by Kelly of spending a zero day here at the lake to recoup. She was appalled at the idea of staying in the campground for another day so I accepted the inevitable and loaded up our gear.
We walked to the hiker’s camping area which was thankfully much quieter. Kelly set up camp and watched Zach while I tried the showers closer to our campsite with somewhat better results that she had at the other ones. We didn’t get a chance to eat until 9 pm and didn’t get to sleep until probably about 10:30. To sum it up, it was a very long, very miserable day.
Continues here: Wrightwood