PCT Day 17: Deep Creek

Miles Hiked: 23.3

Total Mileage: 317.9

This morning I noticed that pitching my tent did keep me warmer at night. When I opened my tent doors it was noticeably colder. Dirt Magnet and Cam were packing up as well. I was the first to leave camp. It was a cold morning. I walked 3 miles to the Deep Creek Bridge. It was very high over the creek. There were tons of people camped in the sand near the creek bank. I went down to the creek to get some water and change out of my puffy jacket and fleece dress. It was so cold in the shade I couldn’t take off any of my clothes!

I continued on down the windy trail that hugged the side of the sandy hills that made the valley where Deep Creek flowed through. The creek was so pretty to follow. I loved hearing the cascading water echo up to the sandy hillsides above. Today I noticed two new plants. One of them was a gorgeous red poppy and the other was a small purple flower I later learned were chia flowers.

I arrived to Deep Creek Hot springs around 11 am. The hot springs were right on the edge of the creek. I immediately undressed, put on some sun screen and got in with Dirt Magnet, Angus, Cam, and Rainbow. The first hot spring we got in was apparently the hottest one. I loved it. The water was clear and you could see the hot spring gushing out of the creek bank into the small stone pool built to retain the hot water. The water would flow into the ice cold creek right next to the pool. We all eventually got into the cold water for a swim over to the hotel hot springs to check them out. I couldn’t believe how big the hot springs were and I was glad we were there on a Monday rather than the weekend. There was one hit spring that was so deep I could tread water in it. While we were all hanging out in it a man named Eric gave us all a beer which was absolutely perfect to enjoy! Eventually I went back to the hottest spring and then got out so my bra and underwear could dry a little bit before hiking. While I was sitting on the sandy beach, I noticed I was getting burned so I put on more sunscreen. It turns out it definitely wasn’t enough. Another local I was talking to for a while (Peter) had brought sandwich supplies and fruit for hikers he saw today. I was able to enjoy half a mustard and chicken sandwich with a mandarin orange. It was heaven. We all sat on the beach together eating lunch and drying off. I decided to push on early while everyone else went for one more dip.

I pushed on another 10 miles to a camping spot. The trail continued to hug the sides of the sandy hills as it exited the creek valley. The closer I got to camp, the windier and colder it got. I was thinking to myself there was not way I wanted to pitch a tent tonight. I got some water at Grassy Valley Creek before setting up camp nearby. The other showed up right before I was about to fall asleep. It was so cold I couldn’t crawl out of my sleeping bag to join them for dinner. I was asleep before 8pm.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

Published by Deserrae Potts

Thru Hiker Blogger

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