Sunday, June 3, 2012

Day 43: Ridge to Landers Creek

We meandered over shaded, grassy ranch land for most of the day. But climbing above 6,000 feet we left behind the cactus, yucca, and junipers, exchanging them for tall, shady pines and oak trees.

We reached a new milestone in mid-afternoon: mile 600, formed from pinecones. 600 miles.

Shortly after the 600 mile mark, we passed something we shouldn't have passed: Robin Bird Spring. Right off off the trail, the spring is reputed to have decent water, only slightly contaminated from the cows that use this land for grazing. But we were planning to continue on to Landers Creek to a nearby campground with a spring, so we didn't take the time to stop for water.

We regretted that decision the minute we stepped across the bone dry Landers Creek. And I regretted it even more when 7:30 rolled around and the rumored campground never materialized.

We found a beautiful campsite, placing our tent on a bed of pine needles layered several inches deep in the shade of a tall pine forest. A pile of large granite boulders nearby proved irresistible for climbing, and several large, flat granite stones made perfect cooking tables and seats. The constant whirring of the wind in the trees provided a soothing lullaby, and we slept secure in the knowledge that the trees sheltered our tent so the wind could do little more than ruffle it. But we went to bed thirsty, with only a few ounces of water each.

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