Day 20 – hot springs

It was so bright in the tent last night as it’s nearly a full moon. I took an aleve with sleep aid (these things are the best!) and it was warm so I slept pretty well. I was hiking by 7am, which is getting to be my standard start time. 

Only 2.5 miles to deep creek hot springs, they sometimes have a really bad reputation especially at the weekends (and it’s Saturday today). Thru hikers are all about ‘Leave No Trace’ and weekend party people don’t tent to have the same attitude so there can be lots of trash around and the water gets polluted with human waste. But we arrived early, around 8am, so there wasn’t too much activity. There were a handful of people leftover from the night before.  

I was a bit reluctant to get in the water to start with as there are lots of stories about a brain eating bacteria that gets into your mucas membranes, but there were a bunch of people in there when I arrived who convinced me to get in, so I got in hot springs. 

It was amazing! The part I’m in is really hot, bath tub hot then just behind me, the main part of the creek is really cold. It was nice to wash the dirt off, can’t really say I felt clean afterwards though!  

I only had about half a litre left of water left and I was starting to get a bit worried (there was zero chance I was getting water from deep creek), but found a good stream about 3 miles down the trail and filled my water super fast because of all the bugs. 

I waked with Papa Smurf and the Doobie Brothers (long hair, could be twins, one carries a guitar) for a bit until they went to jump off rocks. They tried to convince me to come too but I have to get to Canada, I haven’t got time to be jumping off rocks! The path was long and winding and I had to stop for a desperate danger nature poo (dangerous because someone could come round the corner but you couldn’t see them!). It was a nice walk, just a shame about all the graffiti. 

It was starting to get incredibly hot and exposed and there were a bunch of people gathered at the next stream as it was the last water for quite a few miles. It was so nice to dunk your feet. I loaded up with a very heavy 4 litres and hiked on. 


The afternoon was a seemingly never ending weaving ridge that was so so so hot. The sun was so intense and it was shadeless. 


My knees felt like they were burning so put buff around one and a bandana around the other…


I leapfrogged with Roxanne, Bill and Lucky for most of the day. 

We were aiming for the lake to make a 19 mile day but there was nowhere to camp, there were a few sandy beaches but most of them had a load of trash around. 


Lucky and Roxanne and I carried on around the edge of the very wiggly lake (the lake was huge!) another 4 miles to a campground, which made it a 23 mile day. The biggest day yet. And I was feeling it. Zog and Marathon John were already there. I was absolutely knackered but feels good to have made it, and to a campsite with running water and a flushing toilet! 

I didn’t want to cowboy camp and I didn’t want to completely set up my tent so I set up my fly under the pavilion and slept there!

I was determined to make to most of the facilities while there were some so I could avoid another nature poo so I sat on the loo until something happened – which ended up being about half an hour (a couple of blog updates came to you from that loo). 

As I lay in my tent everything felt numb and painful at the same time. I could hear the distant sounds of a party boat on the lake – the sound of those with different lives. 

I fell asleep dreaming about Sprite. How I long for a cold Sprite. With ice. And a straw. 


2 thoughts on “Day 20 – hot springs

  1. Graffiti – seriously … there is a picture of a family – YES family – going around facebook right now. They were caught – asked to stop and when the wouldn’t their picture started circulating. The Forest Department is trying to find them. How rude. The lake looks amazing! Wishing you bathroom comforts! That is the thing I’m dreading the most when I finally do this…:)


  2. Since I zeroed in Big Bear the day you left, on the 2nd I am still a few miles behind you. I left with a group on May 1st that included a couple you know, as I recognize them now by the pictures you have posted in Big Bear. There was an Aussie girl, who was living in Britian, name I don’t recall, and Cool Breeze, who was Alex to me at the time. Also Cuban (B) was there.

    See if you know any of these others…. This pic is from their first trail break. I hiked on, as I like you tended to just plod on and not stop. Never saw any of them again, except Cool Breeze.

    I reached Silver lake where you spent the night at the next day, as I went off trail at mile 317.59 on the 2nd of May. It was about a mile to Mojave River Campground that had the 3 Ts, (toilet, table and trash) plus running water, hot shower and electricity. Having arrived late in the day, there was no mechanism to pay, and no other campers, recreational or PCTers around. A nice overnight stop. I cowboy camped sheltered from the wind by some trees near the facilities. It was worth the off trail trek. It is fun now going back on google earth to see if I can find this spot in the trees.

    Found it.

    Have you done that? I am always surprised when I look now at how close we were hiking to major roads, or settlements that I did not know were there at the time.

    While I did NOT stop at Deep Creek for a dip as health warnings put me off, but I certainly did in Silver lake the next day. It was really refreshing


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