FEBRUARY 29, 2016 – PCT Bouquet Canyon Road (S)

I’ve been obsessed with hiking the PCT for about a year. On the offhand chance 🙂 that I’d win the lotto I prepared for the 5 month 2,653 mile “thru hike” from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. I researched & bought all the gear, all the books & maps, read the blogs, watched youtube videos and immersed myself in thru hiker culture. But I didn’t win and therefore have to keep working. So I’m relegated to hiking small pieces of the PCT on weekends.


This time I chose a trailhead where the PCT crosses Bouquet Canyon Road. Cacher Vanichiro51 had very helpfully placed a string of PCT caches extending several miles both north and south of Bouquet Canyon Road. I parked in a small dirt lot, hung my Adventure Pass on the review mirror and walked a few feet to the south side trailhead. For PCT enthusiasts that’s: Section CA E2, mile 465.55. The trailhead cache is: P.C. Trail # 1 (GC2EF7J).
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From the beginning the trail went gradually but relentlessly upward. The greenery was evidence of recent rains though there were no trail washouts or mud. Conditions were excellent throughout.
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A cool breeze kept the 85 degree temperature from becoming uncomfortable. The Bouquet Reservoir, closed to the public, was visible for the early part of the hike.
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I started finding caches with Don_J’s signature last on the log. I stamped underneath and left a memorial wooden nickel. Back at home I saw that there were online logs dated after Don’s finds. But those people didn’t sign the paper logs. Hmmm…
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In addition to cache/hiking, I scout for “forest hikes” for my friend Christine (cacher sissopolis). I’m sorry to report that this hike definitely doesn’t qualify.
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Finding caches every 600’ or so I arrived at a place where the soil abruptly changed from grey-brown to reddish. The vegetation became more dense at that spot.
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Fortunately the caches were mostly very large containers, not too far off trail. But they were old and in various stages of decay.
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This one was destroyed.
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Just before the top of the last hill a forest of sorts appeared for a few hundred feet.
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At the top the ‘forest’ ended in a wide plateau.
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This is the view South from just beyond the sign on a dirt road. The town of Agua Dulce and Vasquez Rocks are in the middle. And the white line across the center is the 14 freeway.
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I walked around for the best view, sat for a few minutes to enjoy it and hurried back down in order to reach my car before sundown.
022716_11_selfieThe RT hike was 7.4 miles with 1,200’ elevation gain. Going up and searching for 15 caches, finding 12 took 3 hours. Coming back down and searching for & finding 2 caches took 1 hour & 20 minutes. Eventually I’m going back with an earlier start time to find the many caches along the dirt road at the top. Maybe I’ll start from the other (South) side.

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