With Kickoff a few days past, and some a few miles on our legs, we’re posted up in Warner Springs, a small town with a Post Office and community center, free ranging cows, and not too much else. We’re taking the morning off, letting our
bodies and minds rest for a bit- 80 + miles in the last four days definitely left us hungry, dirty, and tired.
Interior Southern California has been a total adventure- all new terrain for me, and reminiscent of Becky’s time in Baja with NOLS. The landscape changes constantly from ridge to ridge. Up in the Mount Laguna area, we hiked through tall pine forests, only to pass through very arid burn-scapes fifteen miles later. Eastern mountains are clearly stuck in the
rain shadow of the western peaks- Often the next ridge over may be forested, when we are hiking through cacti.
Probably the most amazing feature I didn’t expect has been the desert bloom. It’s springtime here, and though that doesn’t mean quite the same thing as it does in Vermont, it is gorgeous. It has been a reasonably dry winter here in SoCal, below average rainfall- but that hasn’t stopped many of the cacti and wildflowers from blooming. See below for pictures!
From here, its 4 days to Idyllwild, 75 miles away. After that comes Mount San Jacinto, the tallest peak in Southern California, around 10,000 ft. Its a 3-4 mile spur trail- miles that don’t count towards the PCT, but we may not be able to resist the temptation to do a little peak-bagging, especially if some snow remains on the top! There is a lot to be excited about, here we go!