Day 9 – Third Gate to Creekside Beach Camp

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April 24, 2016: Got up early looking forward to pushing into Warner Springs and seeing the infamous “Eagle Rock” along the way.  The temp was getting much warmer and I was more than glad to stop for an afternoon siesta in one of a few shady spots along a ridge. 

Of course, as luck would have it, only about a mile up, the terrain changed from shadeless high desert, to oak trees and lush vegetation fed by a small stream.  And, around one more corner, at the next water stop (a stream fed cattle trough) – true trail magic!  Cookies, soda, beer, chips all courtesy of a trail angel father and son team!  The son had hiked the PCT the year before and wanted to give back some of the magic he received- we love you both!!!

Fully rejuvenated, me and a couple of hikers thought we’d push to camp near Eagle Rock.  The terrain changed again to high prairie and back into lush trees lining the San Ysidro Creek.  Then it was back up into the high prairie, only the wind started to howl.  I lost my hanky to that wind.

We made it to Eagle Rock – a natural rock formation that, yes, looks like an eagle.  But, there really wasn’t decent camping around in such a howling wind.  

Tired, we trudged along – the hikers I was with settling into the first high bushes found.  I kept on, and toward late evening found myself in the Canada Verde Valley, shaded among tall oaks and cooling rapidly from the moist air of the stream.  At around sunset, I found myself on a shore of the stream on a sandy beach-like camping area with a father and son team who hiked the AT and were happy to share their campsite with a fellow Tarptent Rainbow owner such as myself. 

They supplied the music while I supplied the hot cider and the stars came out and were simply amazing.

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Miles: 17.81

Elevation gain/loss: 2487/-2956ft

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