|Deep Creek Hot Spring|
Hiking into the deep creek drainage, the trail has little shade, and many hikers try to find an overhanging boulder to wait out the hottest hours of the day. Even though I knew it was close, there was an exotic and fantastical transition as the trail dipped down to the water and surrounding shade from nearby trees. It felt like a different reality. I stripped down and both swam in the river and joined the bathers for a few minutes in one of the hot pools.
This 76 mile section was my return to the trail after an 18 day rest due to knee pain. I was eager to be back on trail, and found the miles easier than expected. Although this section was hot, there was also relatively good access to water, so it wasn't as difficult as some parts of the Mojave.
Hiking Southbound has opened a window into the different types of hikers on the trail. When I was near Kennedy Meadows, I met some of the fastest and fittest hikers on the trail, while now it's more of an average group, with even a few slow hikers thrown into the mix.
Since I stopped carrying a dedicated camera, these pictures are all from my smartphone : https://goo.gl/photos/wRy2uPF1NSR78mn96