Day 18 – We walked through fields of gold in the San Gorgonio wilderness before following the wide & mostly dry creekbed of Whitewater Creek, then follow a ridge with views of snowy San Jacinto behind and snowy San Bernadinos ahead. Descending again we followed the wide & very eroded Mission creek(bed), beautifully maintained by a group of buff hippy trail workers we come across on Day 19 (Anna’s b-day!). When we travel beyond their handicraft we came to really appreciate their labour as the trail crossed to the left, then right, then followed the creekbed… and with no clear trail there’s steep embarkments on soft soil that slides out from under your feet. You wouldn’t even need faith to move these mountains into the sea. Just step on them and they crumble.
Then the real ascent begins as we enter the wooded San Bernadinos. Trouble first strikes with me getting horrible stomach pains. It was probably just hardburn but it felt like a hernia or kidney stone or certain death… I recover in time for our first trecherous snow crossings on the steep 8,500 foot mountain slope. The snow is either icy (my trekking pole was bent rescuing me from a slidding step) or soft and we sink in well over our knees (at one point Dan’s foot got stuck for a good 4 mins). We are so thankful we decided to skip a chunk of San Jack! By the end we are wet & freezing, especially since the wind is now going CRAZY and a hundred foot tall trees are swinging like a penduleum. We hear a big tree crack and fall over nearby. We just barely managed to set up our tent & get inside… word has it the temps were around -5 degrees F with windchill.
Sunny southern California, eh?
I’m not sure I like being 27.