Friday, February 5, 2016

Palm Springs Day 7 Whitewater PCT / Canyon View Loop

I had all intentions of doing a hike just down the road today that would take me up above with views looking down onto Palm Springs. I woke though with the need to go catch a little more "wild" in the desert terrain beyond the city.  I had been to Whitewater Preserve on my first visit here and hiked north.  I loved that area, so this time I would hike south along the Pacific Crest Trail.  I heard the landscape is much different.

After the easy drive there, then speaking with the Ranger and signing in, I next geared up to hit the trail. The Ranger who lives right beside the Ranger Station joined me for the first little while as he walked his dog.  The trail starts at the pond.
                                    
                                    We followed the stone lined trail through the wash.  
At the end of the wash and where the trail veers up steep switchbacks, we parted ways. He watched as I headed off along the PCT.  I reached the top of the switchbacks and saw the area where I would be headed.  Yes, the terrain was much different than heading north.  
                          The only wildlife I saw was this roadrunner. 
                        It ran and ran and ran in front of me as I hiked.  
     The trail is well defined and with markers every now and then with the PCT crest on top.  
                               I wondered what was around every corner.  
This area is so green, not desert like at all.  I could see one going on forever here and not getting bored.  At times the trail was very narrow, and on the edge of the slope.  I had to stop lots because I could not safely hike and enjoy the scenery at the same time.
That trail is on the other side of the canyon and that is my destination and turn around point.  I had to hike to the bottom and then back up over on that side.
                  This is my destination spot shot with the canyon behind me.
                                   looks rain forest lush instead of desert dry
When I arrived back at the top of the switchbacks, I did not really feel I had my fill yet so instead of returning the way I came, I opted to make a loop.  I tacked on another few kilometres by completing the Canyon View Loop.  This trail would eventually take me back to the Ranger Station in a round about way.
                        You can see the trail go on and on and on in the center.
                   Switchbacks lead me off the long ridge back down to the wash.  
                             From green to the south to rocky grey to the north.  
                                       I made it back to the Ranger Station.
                                               This is the Ranger's home.      
There is something about being out in this area, I believe it's this kind of place that keeps a piece of my heart.  I can't quite put it into words or explain why that is. Maybe another visit here is what it would take to make this more clear.  Until the next time......




5 comments:

  1. I'm surprised the roadrunner stood still long enough for you to take his picture! Yes, everything looks very green, not what I'd expect from the desert.

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    1. I had to chase it for a bit then it stopped and I think he thought he was hiding and I could not see him.

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  2. Incredibly green. Is the road runner actually called a 'road runner'?
    He looks very much like a bird we call the curlew.
    I'm sure you will be back.

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    1. Helen it is actually called a Roadrunner!

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  3. I'm looking forward to getting to this pct section!

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