Friday, May 31, 2013

5/9 - Hot Springs and Silverwood Lake

By Hedgehog
Starting Mileage: 305.7
Ending Mileage: 328.5

We woke at our normal time and headed out for the Hot Springs.

We'd heard several hikers go by our tent in the night and figured they had camped closer to/at the Hot Springs. While the Deep Creek Hot Springs are a Day Use Area but it was the middle of the week and enforcement would probably be lax.

When we got there about 8 AM we found around 20 people already there. Most of whom were hikers but a significant minority were locals. The Hot Springs are clothing optional and have a reputation for being a party place. From the state we found things it wold seem that reputation is well earned.
Not deterred BooBoo and I soaked (cloathed) in one of the several pools for about an hour. I've included a PG picture of the pool below (pictured are Rabbit and Packman / not pictured is a local nudist partaking in the "optional" part of the springs).
With relaxed muscles we continued on, where we ran into some volunteers doing graffiti coverup. They used clay rather than paint, it seems to deter repeat vandalism better. One of the group told us that the trail we were on used to be an aqueduct to supply potato fields in the valley below.
When we reached said valley it was extremely hot and exposed.  A miserable couple of miles ended abruptly at the top of a hill. We'd come across some Trail Magic. Two ladies were setup under a tree at a road crossing. One was offering either Root Beer or Orange floats and the other offerred hot dogs with all the fixings.
BooBoo and I both enjoyed a root beer float and hit dog in lawn chairs under the tree. We ran into Tumbleweed,  Iceman, and Catywampus.
After a nice respite we headed back into the 90° heat and continued on as thunderstorms were forecast and clouds were gathering on the horizon.
We were aiming for Silverwood Lake Reservoir and the CA state camping area.
Hot, tired and cranky I REALLY didn't want to get rained on, as the clouds moved in BooBoo and I pushed to get to the campground.  It turns out Silverwood Lake is really big and it took us a long time to hike aound it.
We had dinner under a pavillion before going to find the free Hike/Bike campsites. If you hike in or bike in they are free on a first come first serve basis.  We had run into Allan and he camped next to us in the sites. NOT on the lush green grass beneath the tree. BooBoo's 2009 hike provided usefull information yet again and we escaped the 5am sprinklers.

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