Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Day 6-7: Night Hiking and Warner Springs

The night before day 6 I stayed in Julian,  12 miles off trail. While in town, we decided to hit the trail late the next day and focus our time on night hiking. The hike from scissors crossing is a long waterless and hot stretch that is really tough in the the heat of the day. What further convinced us to night hike was the weather, hotter, and hotter the next three days. 
I am going to do a separate post dedicated to the thrills of night hiking when I have a few more nocturnal outings under my belt.  

So the plan was to leave town in the afternoon and start hiking when the sun was setting and hike through the majority of the night. We ended up leaving town much earlier than I would have liked, and because I wanted to keep up with Fiddy, I joined. At noon we started hiking; thr worst part of the day to begin hiking on a southern face in the desert.  

The afternoon heat is hard on everybody but for me it quickly becomes dangerous and reckless. My skin does not sweat at a normal rate so I can become quickly over heated. I dove under a bush at about 2pm when I was getting woozy from the heat. 

The desert is a bipolar mistress. In the beating sun you can over-heat and dehydrate in less than an hour, and in the shade, during that same hour you could be shivering. I'd rather be cold. 

I began hiking again at 7pm, after popping out of my refuge bush 3-4 times to test the heat. At this point the sun was casting dramatic shadows on the valley below and the temperature was dropping rapidly to a comfortable hiking temperature. Time to cruise!!

At first you think it's dark then it gets a whole lot darker. To quote the Big Lebowski: "darker then a black steer's tookus on a moonless prairie night". 

 I took down about 13 dark miles and called it a day at Barrel Springs. The sleepiness caught up with me and I called it a night earlier then I wanted but the trail will still be there tomorrow.  Overall, a great decision to night hike and I will be trying to go more nocturnal as the days pass. 

I woke up at about 7am and made my way to Warner Springs to take a long break until night fall. Awesome setup here. Ran by volunteers that make food and provide utilities for hikers. Tonight I will be attempting a dusk to dawn hike. Woowoo 

California cows are frisky


  1. Hey man! Greetings from another St. Louis native. You look very familiar, I wonder if you know my kids, they grew up in the Webster Groves area for the most part. If you need anything mailed to help with resupply let me email is

    Safe travels!


  2. Still with you. Lol. Dang I want to be there.
    Love to you. The trail angel in yosemite