A big problem lay ahead and we needed to figure out how to handle it. The problem was Mount Baden-Powell.
The Pacific Crest Trail goes directly over the top of the 9,399-foot mountain. Without snow, going up and down would not be especially difficult.
From what we had heard, snow conditions right now were making the summit difficult to safely reach. I wanted to get as much information as possible about this section.
When I started this hike a month ago I set a goal of hiking every mile of trail. I made a commitment to stay on the trail unless conditions were unsafe, such as dangerous snow or a wildfire. Although I don’t usually like to walk on snow, I was prepared to go up the mountain unless there was a good reason for not going up.
In fact, when I mailed items home yesterday, I didn’t mail my microspikes so I could be prepared for the mountain.
When I learned Spamalot and Just Awesome were going to the hardware store, I wanted to go with them. I had heard employees there were knowledgeable about the trail ahead and I hoped they would know about current conditions.
We talked to an employee who encouraged us to take an alternate route. He pointed out that after Baden-Powell, the trail is rerouted because of a closure to protect the mountain yellow-legged frog, an endangered species. Even if we went over the mountain we would still be required to take a detour.
The alternate he showed us extended the detour a few more miles by using the Manzanita and Burkhart trails, which are part of Desert National Recreation Trail.
This information looked like a reasonable choice, especially because the other way to detour Baden-Powell and the frogs would require walking on Highway 2.
After leaving the hardware store we ran into Simple Man and filled him in on what we learned, then we returned the DVD we rented yesterday,