Thursday, May 26, 2016
Thursday, May 25
Spent last night at Casa de Luna, a house owned by the Andersons, trail angels who welcome hikers to their home and feed them and clothe them in loaner Hawaiian shirts and let them camp in the manzanita forest behind their house. Great place, great people.
After pancakes for breakfast, I headed out. Today featured a 12.9 mile detour around a section of the trail that is closed due to the Powerhouse fire in 2013. Unfortunately there aren't a lot of other trails in the area, and the detour was mostly on roads. I walked the couple miles from Casa de Luna back to the trail, and then began walking on the shoulder of the road. And walked and walked.
Saw a few other hikers doing the same, and a few passing by in the backs of pickup trucks, hitching the road walk.
Road walks provide a different type of scenery. I enjoy seeing the artifacts of years of human building and decay. Imagining what some rock wall must have been in the past, seeing the inventive thing people do with their houses, or mailboxes.
Walked past Lake Hughes and Lake Elizabeth, sadly both seem pretty dry right now.
In between the two though, there was a place called the Painted Turtle that had its own lake with plenty of water. A fellow hiker told me that it was started by Paul Newman as a place for disabled kids to go to, looked like a neat place.
Stopped in Lake Hughes at the Rock Inn for lunch. Had a great burger and fries, and followed that up with pie and ice cream, very good.
After lunch I continued on and eventually camped at Upper Shake Campground. There was a Lower Shake Campground too that I hiked through. Both of these campgrounds are close, and have been for years.
I talked to a local who was up here walking his dogs and he said that the water dried up a couple decades ago, and then the campgrounds were closed maybe ten years ago, and now so many of the forest roads are closed due to fires that I doubt many of these campgrounds will ever reopen, which is a shame, since it's a pretty nice place.