Day 15: Soooooo much up!

15 April 2021
Mission Creek to Heart Bar Creek
PCT Mile 225.9 to 242.2

Last night was such a great sleep! Perfect temperature and no wind and a wonderful site.

Goose’s picture of the Big Dipper

Today we had to climb over 6,000 feet. It was only 16 miles but it felt like the 23 we did on the ridge up to Jacinto. Whew!

The day started with a gazillion crossings of Mission Creek. Fires and floods in the last 5 years have obliterated some of the trail through here, and a year without trail maintenance due to COVID has allowed brush to overtake the path in many places. It was very much Choose Your Own Adventure! There were lots of cairns, which are piles of rocks meant to show the way, so it wasn’t too bad.

Good morning!
Grape soda lupine
Fremont cottonwood
Western sycamore
California sun cup
Mission Creek
Finding our way
Water break
Seep monkeyflower
Water crossings!

We eventually climbed out of the creek into a drier part that was bursting with greens and reds.

So much color!
An ancient cottonwood
Taking it all in
Watercress
Cool cairn!
White daisy tidytips
Bushwhacking in short shorts

We found a really sweet spot for lunch where we ate and napped. Three hikers we’ve been leapfrogging also showed up and shared it with us.

Back country dinette set
JimmyJam takes a nap

After lunch we climbed through a burn zone with lots of giant blowdowns.

Blowdowns!

And after 14 miles we finally made it up to nearly 8,000 feet at Mission Csmp Spring. A nice hiker with long braids helped us find it. I later talked to her about her tent, which is the same as mine, and found out she had the perfect trailname.

Mission Camp Spring
Perfect trail name: Pippi Longstockings!

Goose and I decided to hike up another 2 miles to camp at the next saddle that came down to 8,000 feet. It was wonderful! There was even a little hill nearby where we had two bars of cell service.

Sugarloaf Mountain
Camp at 8,000 feet
Two bar knob

Goose made a cool time lapse video of us setting up our tents (Instagram: @tuckerontrail). We ate dinner and it was getting cold quickly, so I ducked inside! Brrrr!

Good night!

Today’s Hike-U:

Mission Creek
Climbing all day long,
Crossing creeks and finding cairns:
Mission accomplished

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