It is has a very interesting first week on the trail. The journey started with an early flight from Manchester to San Diego. Once there, trail angels picked up a group of hikers and took us to Scout and Frodo’s house, super trail angels who house and fed hikers plus get them to the trail in the morning.
The trip to the trail included rain. Yes, rain in southern California! So the start was cool and cloudy. Actually, it was good as it made the hiking easier than if it had been warm and sunny.
The rest of the week has been putting in the miles and adjusting to a new place – the desert. The plants are scrubby and there is plenty of cactus. There are animals, so far I’ve seen rabbits, lizards, birds, horned lizards, insects and closer to Idyllwild, a deer.
The trail itself is different from New England in a couple of ways. The tread is mostly sand or dirt with rock in some places. Much easier footing than what I am used to. The grades are mostly easy and there are a multitude of switchbacks. This is easier in the body, but mentally challenging as I know the same climb at home could be shorter.
The biggest challenge right now is the environment. It is desert, so heat and water have to be managed. It can be cool and windy at night, too. Thankfully, there is a water report to help hikers find water. Adjusting the hiking times to avoid the heat of the day works well for the heat.
Now for the photos! Enjoy!
At the border, ready to go.
View to the valley floor from a lookout just after Mt. Laguna.
Typical landscape and look back to the road after a trip into Julian.
Horned lizard. I’ve seen several of these.
Blooming cactus. Many of the cacti are blooming and are either pink or yellow.
An undercast! The fog burned off on morning to reveal an undercast in the valley below.
View down to Lake Hemet, which I would walk past later in the morning, from somewhere near Fobes Saddle.