Miles Hiked: 21.8
Total Mileage: 219.6
Once again I didn’t sleep the best last night. I was awake at 5am and on the trail by 5:30. The sun rose as I descended. The view of San Jacinto was majestic in the morning light. It’s crazy that the peak of the mountain is at 10,800 feet and the desert floor I descended to is under 2k feet. My knees ached from all the downhill but I was determined to get it over with. The trail curved in and out of all the mountain folds. I nearly stepped on a rattle snake and it scared me so bad. I only noticed because I turned around and saw it as it snickered at me. At the bottom of the mountain I took a break at a water faucet before continuing to the interstate 10 underpass where I planned to hitch from a road just past it. As I was descending the mountain I spotted a paved walking path below leading near a neighborhood. I hoped the trail didn’t involve pavement today. It did. Luckily it was less than two miles before the trail was back in some awful sand. I’m not sure what’s worse. I could also see the sand we were about to walk across from on the mountain as well so I made sure to wear two pairs of socks today to avoid blisters.
It was blazing hot and I was glad to be getting the miles in now. I pounded the sand for a few more miles until I was under the interstate 10 bridge. I was able to gather three other hikers together for an Uber ride into town. Normally I hitch hike but not on an interstate this busy. First Angus, Christina, Jim and I all got dropped off at Dollar General to resupply before having to Uber 2 more miles to where the town food centers are. I would have hitched but people were being sketchy in the store and I didn’t feel good about it. Time in town flew by so fast. By the time I finished a massive veggie bowl from Chipotle and had one small taco and a coffee from taco bell, three hours had passed. It took another hour to get three more people together for an Uber back to trail. It was kind of funny when our driver dropped us off back where we got picked up. The middle of nowhere in the desert in the heat of the day. We certainly seemed crazy.
After getting dropped off I hiked four miles to an oasis provided by Mesa Wind Farm. It was the hostess part of the day and I was chugging my water the whole way there. The trail went through a more urban area and I was frequently crossing dirt roads with piles of junk everywhere. At one point there was a mattress right next to the trail. I jumped on it a few times of course. When I finally arrived at the wind farm oasis, the other hikers said I looked so rough when I arrived. My shirt looked absolutely disgusting with sweat stains and salt build up. The wind farm provided a small shady shelter, ice cold water, a charging station, and I bought an ice cream bar for $2. When will I get ice cream in the middle of the desert again!?
After taking a break for an hour I continued on to White Water Preserve. It was still hot and I was struggling. There was one surprise climb that absolutely sucked away all my energy. I caught up to Angus and Tom right as we left the trail to walk a half a mile to the preserve. When we got there, there was a wading pool we instantly went to and put our feet in. The ice cold water felt so good on my sore feet. I couldn’t believe this place existed I was so happy! We all walked over to set up our tents by the other hikers. There were a good amount of people camped out here tonight. After dark when we were all trying to sleep the most bizarre thing happened. Two raccoons started fighting and getting really aggressive over some bird feeders that were not that too far away from our camps. It really scared me at first until I turned on my head lamp and could see what the animals screaming were. They ended up getting in three separate loud fights throughout the night. I didn’t sleep well at all of course.