PCT Day 25 – Warning … This Post Contains Graphic Images of Poodle Porn!

Started: 08:15 @ MM 418.6 – Mill Creek Fire Station (Elevation 4,968ft)

Finished: 19:15 @ MM 444.3 – Acton KOA (Elevation 2,259ft)

Water: Drank about 4L and 2 cans Sunkist
Food: Oatmeal, Protein Bar, Granola Bar, 3 Snickers, Spam with Smash and Veggies, Butterfingers Ice-cream, Cheese & Sour Cream Chips.

Wildlife: 1 Snakes, 3 Deer and talk of a BEAR!

Health: 0 Blisters … Back to the usual collection of aches and pains.

It was another damp and cold night but I was on the ball this morning, up and out at a more respectable time. The notice at the Mill creek fire station was crystal clear … “next water 17.5 miles at North Fork Ranger Station”. The clouds had finally parted to reveal the more typical SolCal blue sky day. It was going to be a warm one and another heavy water carry. However, the day’s main challenge wasn’t the heat or the dry conditions … Today was all about the Poodle Porn! I call it porn because much like porn it can de a little difficult to explain and describe it to someone, but when you see it you seem to instinctively know exactly what it is.

Poodle Porn … Right on the trail!
Poodle Dog Bush is a native perennial shrub. It is primarily a fire-follower, it’s seeds germinate shortly after wildfires. Thankfully it has a relatively short life span, reaching it peak in both size (up to 10ft) and vigor by year three or four. In late spring to early summer it produces tall showy lavender coloured flowers. Sounds lovely, but the Poodle is definitely no pet! If you come into contact with the foliage it is highly likely to cause a severe reaction … blistering and a nasty itchy rash, very similar to Poision Oak!
Poodle … Looks a little like another much loved weed!
Curiously, in a certain light and from a certain angle the Poodle looks a lot like a really potent strain of another more beloved weed. In fact it also has a very pungent smell, again not entirely unlike cannabis. I wondered if anyone had ever tried to smoke this shit. There were definitely enough stoners out here on the trail, some dumb fuck must have given it a go!
Hollywood … High above the clouds!
So the trail ploughs through acres and acres of Poodle. I became quite obsessed with it, as you can probably see. Thankfully it was easy enough to avoid but I certainly had to keep my wits about me. Meanwhile, my Hiker Hunger was starting to get quite vociferous again. I was running low on snacks and being tormented by candy fantasies. I rationed out what I had for lunch and then pressed on to the Ranger Station. When I arrived sometime after 3, Pounder and Real Irish were there and tucking into sodas and Snickers. I dropped my pack and hobbled off to find the Ranger. The dude looked like a Deadhead but he had cold soda and Snickers so I’d forgive him just about anything at this point. I inhaled 3 Snickers and 2 cans of orange soda … Chocolate and soda had never, ever tasted so good!
I’ll take a soda, 2 Snickers and 1/4 oz of your finest Poodle!
The Deadhead Ranger seemed liked an appropriate person to ask about the viability of smoking some Poodle. He informed me that about 4 years a guy had tried to smoke some Poodle. Needless to say it didn’t go so well. He ended up in the Emergency Room! I decided to stick to the Sunkist and Snickers.
Don’t pet the Poodle … Don’t smoke the Poodle!
After re-fueling I pressed on. Another 8 miles would get me to the Acton KOA where the luxury of a hot shower and laundry was waiting. Beyond that … Heaven … Now just half a day away!

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