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No hot springs on this trip

On almost everyday of this trip I devised a plan in my head that had to be changed for one reason or another. I had a memory of my last Big Sur trip, back when I was living in SF, of driving up a long windy road to a remote trailhead up in the mountains. I wanted to go there again and based on my guide book I new that it must have been Bottchers Gap. So after buying expensive gas and a few treats in Carmel I headed south to Palo Colorado Road. I knew the road was about 10 miles long and when I made the turn I saw an orange sign that read “Road closed at mile 3.” Time for a new plan. I headed further south and decided to hike the popular pine ridge trail that leads to Sykes hot springs. This would feel great after several days without a shower. After turning onto the road that leads to the trailhead I came to a closed gate. I couldn’t believe it. I got out and read the notice and then went to the nearby ranger station. It wasn’t open yet but a nice man let me in and explained how many of the trails had suffered from heavy rain which caused land slides making the trails impassable. I guess it happened a few years back and since there is a lack of funding the repair process is moving at a slow pace. He showed me a website that provides accurate trail conditions. Today’s lesson: The internet is a useful tool that can be used to plan your next hiking trip. So I headed even further south back to the trailhead that leads to Cone peak.

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