There is Poodle Dog Bush on top of Baden Powell. We smelled it first, thought it must be something else, and then saw the plants.
The following day: slow, lazy morning at Blueridge Campground. I woke up at 7am. This is, for me, sleeping in. Chipmunks making a ruckus outside my tent woke me up.
Blueridge Campground is under a canopy of tall pine trees. Not much light gets in, and this morning looked like it might be grey.
Sounds. 3 planes. There must be an airport down below. A woodpecker. Birds swooping down over my campsite. 4 female runners coming by on the PCT, passing within 50 feet of me. One is telling the others about this trail. The crackling of the fire on which I am heating water for coffee.
Three hikers came by and said hello. They’d climbed up the Blue Ridge Trail – a trail I did not know about until the day before – I found the trail head on an evening stroll after dinner. They live in Wrightwood. One of them is ex Sierra Madre search and rescue, and has worked the AC100 race in some capacity from the beginning.
They are in training for a long, multi-day hike, and so they hike the mountains with backpacks weighed down with 5 gallon plastic water jugs. The idea is that if the packs get too heavy, they can just pour out some water. They explained this when I mentioned I would be heading into town to get water. I was given one of the 5 gallon jugs instead. “I’m gonna kick their ass on the way down!” said the guy who donated his water.
The ex search-and-rescue guy chatted with me for a while about the trails. He said the Sheep Mountain Wilderness Trail that cuts across from the PCT to Mt. Baldy (crossing Dawson Peak and Pine Mountain) is no worse than the stretch across the top of Baden Powell, perfectly safe in the summer months. They hiked it for search-and-rescue training.
Poodle Dog Bush, Shortcut, 2012
I mentioned the poodle dog bush on top of Baden Powell, an area untouched by the Station Fires. (Technically, it is probably Throop Peak where we saw it). His theory was birds. He said Poodle Dog Bush has just started growing in his neighbors’ yard in Wrightwood. Unfortunately, they are Korean and speak no English, so he can’t explain to them what it is, and they have been watering it and cultivating it because of the beautiful purple flowers.
Baden Powell is too high, he reckoned, and too cold for the Poodle Dog Bush to survive. I hope he’s right. It’s finally starting to die out in the burn areas – still thick in places but not as bad as last year or the year before.
https://ultraholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/me_baden_powell_950.jpg637950Geoffhttp://ultraholic.geoffcordner.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/logo-v5b.pngGeoff2013-07-16 20:37:502013-07-16 20:37:50Poodle Dog Bush on Baden Powell