Day 23 (Monday, May 9): mi 292.4 to Mojave Spillway (mi 313.43), 21.03 miles. (up/down: +2332/-4780)
Today I started a bit late, at 8:20 a. I hiked a few miles to Splinter’s Cabin on Deep Creek. When I got to the creek, it looked like a ton of hikers stopped there, but I continued on over the bridge and down the creek for 1/10 mi to the remains of Splinter’s Cabin where there were tables, shade and outhouses. I was the only PCT hiker there, with a local couple that were just out for the morning day hiking.
I passed mile 300! Yet again, two markers. For most of the day, I followed Deep Creek, which was a nice change of pace after being in barren dry desert with not much sign of water.
I still have been hiking solo, but often meet others at water sources and shady spots. The oasis today was no different. In the middle of the desert and dry terrain, you turn the corner to see a little creek. Here is where a number of folks had stopped, a few miles short of the Deep Creek Hot Springs. I relaxed here for an hour, met and chatted with some new hikers and filled up my water as I had no intention of getting any from the trashed hot springs.
Once I got to the hot springs, I didn’t feel like stopping and went on my way. I may have missed out on a nice soak, but I also missed out on the possibility of getting sick and seeing a lot of naked people. After the springs, there was a little climb out but not too bad. The afternoon sun was right on me, but it was not too hot and I got some amazing views coming out of the canyon.
I arrived to the dam and made my way down to the spillway, where I cam across my first stream crossing that required shoes off. Just on the other side was a small little beach with 3 hikers already relaxing. Two were familiar faces, Frankenstein and Sita, along with a new face, Full Rabbit. Tucked a little further into the trees were another 3 hikers. Aside from these two small spots, there was no where close to stay (unless I crossed back over the stream). I decided to join the others on the beach for my first official on trail cowboy camping experience. It was nice to be with company again, and early enough in the day to actually socialize. Not too long after many more hikers arrived and set camp on the other side. The group I met at the Oasis was trying to order pizza, but unfortunately the guy that usually delivers out here wasn’t working. Ended the night listening to Frankentein’s tunes. By hiker midnight there was probably at least 15-20 people camping along the stream. A good day.