The trail meanders through granite boulders and pines. A welcome change in the landscape.
Seasonal springs and creeks are still flowing. After a few miles, we take a break in the shade of a boulder. The rock is cool to the touch.
Naming of a hiker: Two Bagels was formerly called Fetus because he curled up in the fetal position when he napped. He didn’t much care for this name. At the Annual Day Zero PCT Kick Off, there were a lot more people than expected. So, at the bagel breakfast, they said please only take one. Fetus took two. Beavercheecks had slept in late. When he got to breakfast, all the bagels were gone. He said his friend ate his bagel and re-christened him Two Bagels.
The trail gets serious about going up. We take a break at the trail junction that leads to Tunnel Spring to the west and Live Oak Spring to the east. We’re now 1200 feet in elevation higher than we started that morning.
Everyone’s has plenty of water so we don’t go off trail to one of the springs. Instead, we watch and listen to a thunderstorm letting loose to the south and west of us. We’re up high and rather exposed on a saddle so we’re relieved the storm is going around us.
We hike another four miles of mostly up. It’s late evening so we decide to camp. We’re low on water now so we dry camp. Which means no cooking or tooth brushing (except for Blaze, who always brushes her teeth even when low on water; she is a paragon of wilderness dental hygiene). Camp is 2,000 feet higher than our starting point this morning. We view the lights of Palm Springs to the east and the San Jacinto foothills to the west. Not bad.