In May, 2012, I dropped Trailhacker off on the PCT at Whitewater Canyon near Palm Springs. I hiked and camped with him for one night. In the morning I said good-bye and he walked over 300 miles for the next two weeks. This is the Whitewater Creek Preserve where we began. It's a really nice picnic spot.
The wading pool. It's out in the desert for sure.
Rock cliffs near the preserve.
The trail leading out from the preserve.
Trailhacker makes an adjustment to his shoes.
Here's Whitewater creek. It's quite a splendiferous flow of water out here in the hot, dry, shadeless desert.
We meet our first thru-hiker. Trailhacker is pretty excited to meet thru-hikers. Eventually he falls in with a fun group and has a really nice time. At first they didn't seem very interested in talking with him much.
Lots of hikers would detour off the PCT to the preserve for shade and trail magic.
A cactus in bloom along the PCT.
Other flowers in bloom along the trail.
After quite some distance we finally cross Whitewater Creek on the PCT. If we had been regular PCT thru-hikers, this would have been our first encounter with the creek and our first on-trail water since the Snow Creek water faucet at the base of Mt. San Jacinto many miles in the past.
The water's not deep or cold.
We didn't want to get our feet wet.
Last July Trailhacker spent a day hunkered under this shelter, which he covered with his rain poncho, waiting out a 120 degree day. It was interesting to come visit the scene of his distress.
One last jump over the creek and we will climb into those desert hills. Ugh.
Looking back over at Mt. San Jacinto. It's quite a brooding, looming peak.
We're climbing into the hills now while San Jacinto mocks us.
We wondered about the stone house. Maybe someday I will visit it, but honestly, I'm happy to never see this section of trail again. I've had to drive to Idyllwild, Cabazon or Whitewater too many times in the last couple of years. I'm glad to be done with it.
If I could name this valley I would call it Purple Valley. There are plants there that give it a purple tinge that you can't really see in this picture. Trailhakcer will be climbing into those mountains by tomorrow morning. I think one of them might be San Gorgonio, but I'm not sure.
We've climbed over a ridge and dropped into Mission Creek Canyon. We're heading for our first encounter with Mission Creek.
It's still deserty down here.
Here's Trailhacker taking a nice break near Mission Creek in the shade of a big sycamore tree.
Here's Mission Creek. This is one of the very few riparian creekside walks on the whole So Cal PCT.
The Desert Mallow is orange and really pretty.
I don't have any pictures of our campsite, which is too bad. It was a nice spot with beautiful birds and a baby rattlesnake. The moon was so bright that night that there were full colors in the middle of the night. We camped without a tent and I had to cover my head to get any sleep. It was a warm and pleasant night. This picture is the next morning as I walk back to the car alone.
I hadn't noticed these prickly poppies the previous day.
I hadn't noticed these pink and white puffy flowers, either.
Here are some lupine and other flowers on the trail.
These phacelia are an amazing shade of blue.
Leaving Whitewater Creek.
Mt. San Jacinto peeks over the ridge.
Some colorful cliffs in the desert, although the colors are washed out.
This is the last picture. It was back to Whitewater Preserve for me where I washed up in the wading pool then drove home. Trailhacker continued 300 miles or so and I picked him up a little more than 2 weeks later near Gorman (in Neenach, actually) at a hiker place called Hikertown.