Saturday, May 30, 2009


I slept well if a little warm in my dry lake.

In the morning I set off around 6AM. As soon as I rose not more than 5 feet out of the lake basin, I was slapped in the face by the daily blast furnace. It looked to be another scortcher.

I walked through the rest of the Dry Lakes, hoping there would be trail the entire way. Fortunatly there pretty much was. It was overgrown but easy enough to follow.

The other lakes weren't as nice as the one I slept in. They were more like rabbit brush meadows.

Soon the trail went steeply down to Highway 33. The going was difficult because the trail was very steep and the consistency of ball bearings. Finally I reached the highway and could walk normally again.

I walked along the highway for a mile until I reached the trailhead with Sespe Creek trail. I was looking forward to reaching the creek. I had hiked from Maple Camp yesterday on the Matillija until now carrying all my water. I was almost out.

I reached the creek and filled up my hiking bottle and drank my fill. I looked forward to a day of hiking along a creek. Unfortunately, the Sespe Creek trail mostly does not hike along the creek. It was hot and dry and even went way far up hill for a while. The next time I saw the creek was at the trailhead to Piedras Blancas.

I stopped there at the creek again to cool off. I got all the way in the water with my clothes on. I drank some water and rested and went off into the blazing heat.

I passed 4 backpackers who said they had tried to find Willets but didn't. They figured they had not gone far enough. Their dog was wet so I knew the trail would go near the creek soon. And sure enough it arrived at a place with pink, rounded boulders. I took another swim and ate lunch.

The trail stayed mostly away from the creek for miles and miles. It seemed like the trail had once been a road. The trail would go along a mesa, then rise at a corner ridge, then drop down into a basin sort of near the creek, then rise again. Over and over for miles.

Toward the early evening I could see a trail rising way up into the cliffs. I knew that would have to be the trail leading up to the hot springs at Willet. I saw a duck and walked down to the creek and crossed over to a nice camp site in the sand. I looked around the area and found the old cabin. It is rundown. I found other camps, but none as nice as the one in the sand under the cottonwood trees.

I decided I would carry all my gear up to the hot springs and stay up there if it was nice. I walked the steep trail to the springs and found a big rubber pool filled with warm water. I soaked for a while. It felt nice. I sat in the sun for a while to dry off, too.

The campsite up at the spring was hot and hard and had nothing to sit on and no shade. So I went back down to the sandy spot and slept there. There were lots of puffy thunder clouds in the sky, but they dissipated. I slept pretty well.

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