Los Padres NF, Silver Peak Wilderness 2018
Having left Denali, but of course not having gotten a fill of it, it was time to begin heading home. While I'm sitting in Friar Tuck's Hoagie House passing time until my 1AM flight, one of my backpacking pals gets in touch and has decided to go back into Villa Creek for the long weekend. Having not been on the trail together in some time, and now with the highway finally open, I decide why not. My plane lands and I get back to the house only to immediately re-pack my backpack, grab some surplus food from the trip, and get back in the car to go to Big Sur!
I hadn't been on Cruickshank in a long time due to the closure and I had forgotten how pretty the trail is...and how short it seems compared to Buckeye! I told my pal I'd meet him at noon and had left myself three hours, so I took my time and enjoyed taking some pictures of smaller flowers I hadn't seen before, staring at the marine layer rolling in with the wind, just enjoying the ascent and marveling at how much easier this was with a light pack! Eventually I meet my pal around 11 at Villa Creek (still one of the best backcountry campsites ever!) and we go on out for a nice day hike. It's fun to be able to tell my stories about Denali, but also to hear what else has been going on and just share good conversation on the trail. We hiked up to Silver Peak as neither of us had seen that portion of the trail before, and it was wonderful! The landscape kept changing from that coastal hill to the redwood groves to rocky almost windswept ridges near the top. Quite enjoyable and varied!
We returned to Villa Creek and made good friends with J. and E. who were staying up there and got to compare all different kinds of gear. J. was a backcountry hammock camper, so I learned quite a bit about how that whole system would work and can easily see its appeal giving an instant lounge chair. We split a bottle of nice wine and play cards into the dark, but soon after a bit we are all tired and head into bed.
After a lazy morning it was time to head on back to the car, have a parting lunch with my pal, and head on back home. I'm so used to being outdoors now being inside for a week will probably feel a bit strange. We shall see!
Picutres were from the a900 system with the 24-70 and 70-400 lenses.
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