Laura, Dodon, Lisa, Anne-Claire, John, Me.
The rain made for valleys full of rainbows! So lovely!
Dodon, Me, Lisa, Laura.
Lupins collect the ambient moisture.
Redwood bark up close.
It dries up a bit, and we shed our rain jackets.
If you use your imagination, you can see the ocean over those far hills to the left.
Smiley face in the moss.
Close-up of the moss. I'm sure it's almost never as wet as it was for us in those hills. With the moss, and the trillium and other wildflowers, I was even reminded of Kentucky in April!
Anne-Claire and a rainbow.
Five or six miles in, we drop our bags and set up camp, and eat lunch.
Trusty little tent that I lived in in Africa!
After lunch, we walked 4 or 5 more miles in to Sykes hot springs, sans big packs.
I am reminded how awe-inspiring California has been throughout the ages.
And how the heck did people find this hot spring?? Because it is seriously out in the middle of nowhere.
I squealed with delight when I saw this little guy! I thought it was an endangered species...
...but it turned out just to be a California newt, which is fairly common. Still, I was pleased I saw it at all! Neat little guy.
We made it to the hot springs!
There were 3 tubs. Two were full of rowdy beer-drinkers, so we snuggled up in this one (and thereby squeezed out a lone hiker who had the whole tub to himself before us. Doh). It was neat. Not super hot, or comfortable. Definitely not worth the hike all by itself. The landscape was more worthy of the excursion without the hype of the hot springs. Still, kind of neat to have done.
When we finished up in the hot tub, it was already almost dark. We hiked back to our tents 5 miles in the dark. I didn't really use my headlamp b/c it was super dim, and I wanted to make sure it would last in camp. I definitely stepped in ice-cold water crossing one of the streams on the way back. We also gathered fire wood on our way back so that we'd have some fodder for our evening campfire just before midnight.
John making some delicious food. Or is this a picture of the "falafel soup"?
Getting warm. Glad I brought that scarf.
Drying out my foot after squelching in my cold, wet boot for a couple hours.
John over the cauldron.
Next morning, we all slept in and had a yummy breakfast before packing up and walking out.
Anne-Claire also had wet boots. She hiked out in flip-flops. Hobo.
Dodon (from Indonesia, not used to cold) wears several layers to keep warm.
Laura, super happy!
The gang: Dodon, Laura, John, Lisa, Anne-Claire
Almost done with the 20 miles.
Dual jet streams.
And, done! Phew! Super fun.