Sunday, May 17, 2009

Just Passing Through


Today I went on a nice little hike on the Pacific Crest Trail just north of Highway 74. When I left the desert the temperature was 105º. At the trailhead it was 88º. 88º for a desert hiker is like 70º for a coastal hiker or 50º for someone from the Pacific Northwest, perfect.

I start on the trail and hit the sign showing mileage to different areas along the trail. Today, I will be going to none of them.

There is also another sign with a monument to a guy who was murdered near the PCT parking area. He surprised some robbers at his car and was killed. Very sad.

The weather is tolerable for me but it gets even better. There is one lone cloud in the sky and it gives me shade for about twenty minutes. Someone must be living right.

There were plenty of flowers along the trail and while I won't try to identify them right now (I need a new, more comprehensive flower book) I'll post the pictures.

This one looks like cotton candy to me although I didn't try to taste it.

I hiked up to these rocks and decided this was a good turnaround point.

What really convinced me was this place to sit in the shade and enjoy a little drink.

I saw a few critters on the way back. This picture is not misaligned. This is how the lizard was on the rock. He was also doing pushups. Show off!

I saw this little horned toad well disguised just off the trail. He was a very docile little guy and I easily could have picked him up and brought him home. My kids would have loved that but he belongs here in the mountains so I left him.

Finally, I came upon another Pacific Crest through hiker. Her name is Jean and she goes by Monologue in her Trail Journal. She'd been going most of the day and said the heat was tough (obviously she's not from the desert then). She was planning on camping just a little further up the trail. I gave her what was left of my Gatorade and offered her my water. She said she'd just picked up a water cache and was trying to save weight. She had plenty of water. I asked her if her water was cold; she then smiled and accepted my gift. Cold water after a hot day on the trail is worth the extra weight. Too bad I didn't meet her at the trailhead because I had another Gatorade and three more waters in a cooler with ice. I guess to be a through hiker, though, you have to get used to roughing it. She was looking forward to a shower in Idyllwild on Tuesday, though.

Whether someone is on their way to Canada or just out for a little walk, the Pacific Crest Trail is a wonderful place to do it. Before summer is over I'm sure I'll have covered every inch of it in our area and then some.

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