Sespe Wilderness Part II
We planned to wake up early on Saturday to set off on our 12 mile hike. Morgan was up early and I let her out of the tent to explore the campsite a little.
We had 12 miles to trek on the second day and all of it was along the Sespe Creek. We figured there would be a few times we would get wet but nothing prepared us for the 12 miles of boulders, slanted slopes, loose rocks, rock slides, river crossings, and other fun activities.
As we set out, our feet were still sore from the previous day. Vibrams offer absolutely no support and slowed us down tremendously as we traveled through the valley. Here’s some of the stuff we went through.
Narrows with waist high water
As we hiked into the late morning, I realized that we could potentially be in a lot of trouble. We were moving at a really slow pace and the boulders got really big in some areas. A few questions popped into my head.
Can we make it by sundown?
Will our vibrams hold up in this terrain?
Will Morgan make it over some of these bolders?
I told the group that we needed to start powering our way through the easy sections. We were traveling at a rate of 1 MPH which is extremely frustrating to a guy like me. At this rate, we would be arriving at our proposed stopping point just after 7PM. Stupid Vibrams. I was not concerned about water as we had the creek to filter from but I was worried about getting sunburned. I took my extra clothes out and tied them to my arms and neck to shield some of the skin cancer rays burning down on me.
Some deep water
A lot more boulders
Scaling steep rocks
Walking through this crap. My trash bag actually ripped and everything got soaked…
And some more bouldering with one mile to go
Just before we reached our campsite, we reached a point where we had to climb 15 feet up and 15 feet down. We did not bring any rope so we were very fortunate that someone left theirs for us to climb. The other thing was Morgan was getting extremely tired and becoming less adventurous. We had to hoist her (and control her fighting us) up 15 feet and down the other end…which was a lot of fun. Nawt.
As we arrived at the campsite, we passed a group of 6 older hikers. They were really surprised that Morgan was able to make the entire trip down Sespe Creek. They also told us that the 12 mile section that we did in one day, they just did that in three days! Oops. And they hike this loop every single year as an annual getaway trip. They couldn’t believe that we just did it in one day with a dog and wearing vibrams.
At this point I almost expected JW and A to rebel against me. But probably due to their fatigue and hunger, they didn’t attack me.
We found a good camping spot just as the sun was going down. We got the fire started and Morgan immediately dug out a section of soft sand and went to sleep right after I fed her. Most of my gear was soaking wet from the last river crossing where my bag ripped on a shallow rock. We formed a wall around the fire and put all of our things around it to dry out…like my sleeping bag and shoes and clothes and everything.
Once the tent set up, Morgan ran into tent and fell asleep for the rest of the night. We cooked Ramen that night. I can’t even put into words how unbelievably delicious that meal was. At around 3PM, the only thing that kept me going was the thought that I would be consuming delicious chicken flavored MSG noodle packets at the end of the day.
There were a few lessons learned on the second day.
1. Always bring rope when you go somewhere like this. You never know when you may need it.
2. Wear long sleeves!
3. Wear boots! If you twist an ankle out there, you’re done for.
4. Always buy a dry sack for your sleeping bag!
5. I think that’s about it, but they’re important!
The second day was extremely rewarding. We had a short section ahead of us tomorrow to finish the trip and we figured that we would be getting home at 7-8PM.
The next post is the last day (part III) of the backpacking trip, but what happened could have easily turned into a life and death situation.