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City: Rancho Palos Verdes
Begins: May 9, 2009
Date: Wed, May 20th, 2009
Start: Snow Canyon Rd
End: Mission Creek
Daily Distance: 22
Trip Distance: 228.0
Entry Visits: 947
Journal Visits: 132,539
Guestbook Views: 13,620
Guestbook Entrys: 182
Getting out of the desert and onto higher ground was today's priority. Got my usual early start and after ploughing through a sandy wash for a couple of miles in which the trail was indistinguishable from everything else I made it to the I-10 underpass. I turned the phone on briefly to transmit completed journal entries. I have to be very careful preserving the phone's battery power so the radios are almost always off. This way I have about four days use to compose the journals, take pictures, geolocate with the GPS occasionally and hopefully have enough left to call a trail angel for a ride into town.
I then headed Northeast up past an enormous wind farm. The picture hardly does it justice as I could only get a few of the hundreds of turbines in the lens. Sure glad I didn't need to camp here as the noise would have driven me crazy.
The trail headed up a canyon with a very steep headwall. I didn't mind the climbing if it got me away from the desert heat but unfortunately the trail went all the way down on the other side for net zero or thereabouts on altitude.
Then I entered the San Gorgonia Wilderness Area, another one of my favorite local areas. The trail repeated its up then down, this time bottoming out at Whitewater Creek. I found a rock with a carve out that provided a small seat and some shade from the sun and had some lunch. As soon as I got going again the trail took an unexpected turn and crossed the creek. The creek bed itself was very wide and looked like it would be mostly covered by the runoff from a big storm - if only we ever had such a thing in Southern California. The creek was only about ten feet wide but was flowing quite strong - the map says this is Whitewater River but it seemed like a creek to me. In addition to getting some water I could not resist the temptation of soaking my feet. The water wasn't as cold as I expected but my feet eventually went numb. That felt so good.
Another steep climb followed and on the way up I heard a voice shouting "hi". I looked around and under the trees was another hiker who had found an excellent spot of shade to wait out the hottest part of the day. This was the first person I had met since I left Saddle Junction on Mt San Jacinto on Monday afternoon. I joined him for a while and found out he was also from Portland and had been hiking with Mike earlier in the day. He was section hiking from the border to Kennedy Meadows.
This climb also ended up with a big drop down to another creek - Mission Creek. The trail climbed again following the creek and crossing it several times. The gorge was really pretty although like many places I have seen on this trip it has been the victim of fire.
A mile or so up the gorge I needed some quick food as I was feeling I was running on empty. With the re-supply snafu I was almost out of trail food so when I saw a nice campsite I called it a day early at 5:30, had dinner and finished yesterday's and today's journal. And an early night to bed as well.
Mad Dogs & Englishmen
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org
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