Tuesday, April 4 — day 9

PCT Mile 112.6 – 129.20

Looking back at where I hiked from yesterday.

Today is the first day of a four-day push to Idyllwild.  The first three days are crossing a series of desert ridges. This area is very arid and I will be relying on carrying more water and relying on water caches but this time of year there are still some natural flows that I can use.
My morning trail followed the tree lined Agua Caliente Creek for a mile or so before it started climbing up the first of many ridges.

This will be the last big stream I’ll see for a while.  It is a healthy stream teeming with tadpoles.

It was a very warm day and I was glad to have my umbrella to give me shade.

The landscape changed from Oaks and grasses to boulders and desert scrub where shade was rare.

Not as many flowers up here, but the manzanita is in full bloom.

Near a small creek crossing I heard the buzzing sound of a lot of insects.  I looked up and spotted a large bee swarm on a local tree.

Bees swarm when a hive splits in two or when it is no longer habitable.  Some bees head out in search of a new hive site while the rest gorge themselves from the honey stores and fly to a local spot with the queen to wait.  Because they are exposed and filled with honey, they are actually not dangerous.  They were too far away for me to prove this though 😜

Here’s another dwindling creek which I expect will be dry in a week.

There are a lot of spikey plants to avoid on the trail and especially in campsites: yucca, spanish bayonet, and of course cactus.  Fun fact I remembered from my High School Wilderness Studies class:  Cholla cactus spines are covered in a sheath.

The trail kept going up and up and up

After a long, uphill climb I cot a glimpse of the next range to conquer- the San Jacinto mountain wilderness 

Late in the afternoon and I near the top of the last ridge in these dry mountains is Mike Herrera’s house.  He has a well fed water tank that he shares with hikers.  I filled up my near empty water bottles here and dropped in to rest a bit and give my thanks.  Mike was out but the caretaker offered me a beer and lots of lively discussion.  Two other PCT hikers were there – these were the first people I’d seen all day.  One of the hikers went off into the bushes on a “vision quest” (chemically assisted) and returned with a virtual flower that he handed to each of us…  

Wow, look at the time!  I decided to head out and get to the top of the last pass in these mountains.  Here’s a view back.

Thanks for reading!

5 thoughts on “Tuesday, April 4 — day 9”

  1. Awesome pictures!!!
    You could have caught the bee swarm and give it to me. 😉
    Bee swarming season is about to start over here in a week or two and I am hoping to catch one or two.

    Best wishes,


  2. Enjoying your blog immensely, thanks for keeping it up. Trail Angel Mike’s is definitely a tripy place!


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