Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tahquitz Peak, Idyllwild - Palm Springs Vacation Day 4

Idyllwild!  It doesn't take much to get my attention, this word alone did!  Idyllwild!  I even like saying it. Many recommended hikes originate in this area.  The Pacific Crest Trail even passes by.  The highway there is a scenic byway.  Those are enough reasons for me to make a day there happen.  I picked a peak to attack, Tahquitz Peak.  I bought my $5 Adventure Pass which is a requirement to have for this trail head.  I was excited for this day, so got a really early start.  The scenic byway was hair-raising & white-knuckling. NASCAR wanna-be drivers were on the road, terrorizing us tourists!  I safely made it to Idyllwild, picked up a permit which is another requirement needed for the trail itself. 

There are options for reaching this Peak and I picked the Devils Slide Trail as that sounded intriguing to me.  I really needed to be on that trail moving, releasing the stress built up from being on that scenic byway.  By the way, I did not see a single scenic scene, my eyes were on the road.  The trail was cool & quiet, with gentle switchbacks, making for a most pleasant experience.   Not a soul in sight.  I felt energized or maybe I was stress-revved, which worked in my favour for moving at a quicker ascending pace then I recently have been going at.  I hiked the Devils Slide route up to Saddle Junction then hit the Pacific Crest Trail and followed it. 

I eventfully arrived at the Lookout on Tahquitz Peak.  Not a soul in sight.  The Lookout was closed for the winter.  Being up there for lunch with the awesome scenery, I would liken it to fine dining.  The views were of the 360 degree kind.  Once all courses were complete, I cleansed my pallet, packed up and made my way back down.  Back at the Saddle was where I first encountered folks.  We exchanged pleasantries as we passed.  

I made it back to my red Chevy in good time.  With a plan in place of taking time to enjoy the scenic byway on the return trip, I began the drive back early enough to allow for that.  It was once again hair-raising & white-knuckling.  There was no enjoyment in this.  I kept my eyes on the road and let the NASCAR wanna-be drivers pass by.  It is what it is so I just wanted this section of road over with.   What I was enjoying was the desert breeze whipping through the downed windows.  

With about another 20 minutes of twists, turns, blind corners to go, the realization of the dangers on this road were brought to light.  With five vehicles in sight in front of me with the first heading into a blind corner, then hearing the ungodly sound of screeching tires and smashing like I have never heard before, we came to a complete halt. Unconsciously, I jumped out of my car and ran for the blind corner, as did the others.  I was sorry I did!  I tried to make sense of what I saw, but wasn't able to.  I heard someone say it's three vehicles,  then I could see that it was.  Others took control and made the call and did what else needed to be done.  I went back to my car and waited the two hours for all to be clear which was done by 5 fire trucks, 3 ambulances, 1 helicopter, a staging area, two long flat bed trucks and a couple dozen state troopers.

I finally arrived back at my suite, a little shaken, as the sun set on this day. I had to let the ending of this go and just remember Idyllwild.  You can add Tahquitz to that too.  Both of those words will hold this day's wonderful memories.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome views and skies so blue. The pine tree looks as if it is ready to kick the 'football'.
    So sad that someone's day/life was ruined by road idiots.


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