We spent Friday night sharing a camp ground at Landers Meadow north of Bird Spring with a trail crew working on clearing downed trees from the trail. They had two horses and a mule with them, and it's the first time I've encountered other riders on the trail. It's also a good reminder that as infrequent as equestrians are on the trail, much of the maintenance of the PCT takes place with the help of stock. So those who might be inclined to question the potential damage that horse cause should also stop to consider that there might not be a trail if people couldn't use stock to take care of the trail, for hikers and riders alike. And I was very grateful for the work that they were doing, as this is a section with a high number of downed trees creating obstacles. So far, I hadn't encountered anything that couldn't be managed, but I was very appreciative of the work the crew was doing to make the trail easier for me and my horses and all others who are on the PCT this season.
The next morning the landscape changed dramatically as we left the Tehachapi mountains behind and descended into the high desert regions, which have a stark and dramatic beauty of their own. They also have lots of desert creatures, such as this leopard lizard that I glimpsed along the way.
Our destination at the end of the day was Bird Spring Pass, which involved another climb in elevation, and looking back at the mountains I could see them blue and crowned with clouds in the distance.