Sawtooth Campground is a busy place come the weekend. It should be no surprise, the weather is about perfect and this spot is within a reasonable driving distance from LA. Rock climbers and families from the city come out for a chance to get away and the campground fills to over capacity. Four vehicles pile into site #2 next to me and tents spring up along the side of the road, there is no camp host currently in residence and I don’t see a BLM vehicle all weekend so there’s no one to enforce the rules. The pit toilets that were more than fully stocked on Friday are depleted of toilet paper and in dire need of a cleaning by the afternoon.
Dogs bark, music blares, and a steady stream of people parade past my site to access the climb across the road. I survey the chaos from atop the pile of boulders in my campsite, a refuge just far enough from sites 4-6 to avoid the horde of children (six I think, though it’s hard to count as they don’t stay still long) currently in residence with their parents for some sort of reunion. They squeal and call to one another as they swarm over the rock piles nearby, one poor adult from their group tries to contain them as they scatter in all directions, it’s like herding cats.
I don’t begrudge any of them. Their all entitled to their fun same as me, and even the people who are camping illegally I can understand to a point. If I drove two and a half hours after work just to come out here and climb for the weekend only to discover the place was full, I’d probably stay if I could get away with it too. So I read atop my tower and watch the show, grateful all over again that my time is my own as one by one the sites empty out and the crowd leaves to prepare for Monday and their regular lives.
Monday, April 4
Ahhh, the quiet feels good after the weekend. Today’s a kick back and relax kind of day. On my evening walk I take these pictures of the mostly empty campground. That’s really about all I do.
Tuesday, April 5
After a peaceful day spent at camp yesterday, it’s time for a little more hiking. Today’s trail is labeled Predator Wall, it’s at the south end of the campground off of a parking area.
Like Saturday’s hike, it’s not marked at all, no distances or elevation changes are listed. Unlike Saturday’s hike, it follows a wash which makes it harder to get lost. Harder, but not impossible.
At 9 am it’s already getting hot, good thing I didn’t wait any longer. There’s rain in the forecast Thursday and Friday and cooler temperatures, that will feel good. The trail winds up the canyon until the wash is shrunken to the point that it doesn’t really exist. Still, I can see a gap in the ridge ahead which I’m pretty sure is where the view will be, so I veer that way.
Nice! Roads make lines through the creosote-coated valley, there are a few buildings in sight but not many. If I was feeling ambitious, it looks as though a person could climb down from this little pass into that valley and explore more, but that would require climbing back up again.
The sunset this evening is subtle but pleasing. Crickets chirp an accompaniment as I watch it from start to finish.
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On Saturday I’m going to be camping in Acton, CA for a little while. May not have a lot of time there but if there’s something you think I should see, let me know! The campground I’m going to be in is right next to the Pacific Crest Trail and I’ll definitely be hiking a bit of that. Enjoy the rest of your week everyone.
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