Day 19: San Gorgonio Wilderness

Date: April 28, 2017
Miles: 206.8 – 226.1

“There’s one thing I’ve learned – if there are windmills, there’s gonna be bad tent weather.” ~ Strongback

I was really hoping I wouldn’t sweat today. I started out clean and shiny, and it only took the desert a couple hours to change that. The sun was out in full force by the time we started hiking. 

From the snow to the heat.

At about mile 213, we came up on the Mesa Wind Farm, where the employees were barbecuing hamburgers and hot dogs for PCT hikers. They said that they do that sometimes when they feel like it, and we were glad that they felt like it today!  Who doesn’t like second breakfast??

Sriracha mayo even!

We eventually had to leave the oasis of barbecued meat and cold water to head back out into the heat, and in PCT style, we started climbing.  There were hikers hidden in just about every small patch of shade dotting the canyon we were in. 

One of many hot, dusty climbs.

 Along the way we confronted one of the moral dilemmas facing every long-distance hiker: do you cut a switchback and risk violating Leave No Trace principles and incurring the scorn of your fellow hikers or do you say screw it, I’ve had enough of this damn meandering trail and it’s unnecessary miles??  I will let you decide. 

The trail entered the San Gorgonio wilderness and the landscape started to change, particularly when we got closer to the Whitewater Preserve along Mission Creek. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to stop there for lunch and get a little backcountry foot bath. 

We hiked until it started to get dark (still not sure about those mountain lions…) and then camped next to Mission Creek. The chorus of frogs and the sound of the river rushing by put me right to sleep. 

6 Replies to “Day 19: San Gorgonio Wilderness”

  1. You are a wonderful writer. Is there anything you can’t do? Thanks for letting us travel with you.

  2. Those are some great pics!

    I’m not familiar with that species of frog in the one pic. California Longfrog perhaps?

  3. These updates were great! Love all the pictures….it’s as close as I’ll get to ever hiking that trail. But I thought I told you to stay away from Mr. No Shoulders! Carry on…..looking forward to the next set….

  4. “North,” I think is the only true PCT. Trails aren’t highways. They aren’t made out of concrete, or Roman cobblestone. Trails are trails because we choose them. Do any of my fellow wilderness creature friends feel the same way?

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