Miles today: 16.8

Trail miles: 452.9

Elevation: 2482

Spinning on the turntable: The Cranberries: Stars

The morning started with clear skies and sunshine. It was a nice change from yesterday! I ditched my jacket and pants within a half hour of starting to hike and broke out the sunglasses.

The day should really be called Poodle Dog bush avoidance. “Poodle-Dog Bush, Eriodictyon parryi, is common in parts of Southern California. Touching it can cause a significant allergic reaction.

It was everywhere!

This is two or three bushes growing into the trail. In many locations the hikers are rerouting around the bush and off the trail. We met someone who had a severe allergic reaction to it last year and it ended their thru hike attempt. Get this-they believe they got it from a dog who had been in the Poodle Dog bush and then rubbed up against their legs. I’m now paranoid of both the Poodle dog bush and unleashed dogs.

The views were spectacular. Hiking early this morning was a reminder of why I enjoy backpacking so much.

I did find that my pace slowed considerably today when I had clear skies and a pleasant temperature. Lots of time to take pictures!

I was excited to arrive at the I-14 underpass late in the afternoon. The pass allows hikers to go underneath the freeway (6 or 8 lanes of traffic).

I had no idea what to expect. Water cache? Beer? Snacks?

It was just a very long dark tunnel with no goodies on either end.

…but…coming out of the tunnel and resuming the hike was amazing! I think there was a mile or two of towering red rock structures.

It was spectacular! Vasquez Rocks was the name I believe. Using the Guthook App on my phone, which often highlights rusting pipes, left me shocked that this section wasn’t mentioned. I was sad that Noelle wasn’t there to see it too.