Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pinnacles National Park

Our friend, Pix, has been planning hikes through the Pinnacles for years but we have never been able to go. Somehow I got copied on an email about a week before this year's hike, which was going to include camping. The timing couldn't have been better as we were traveling from Southern California to Northern California. We made reservations to stay the week and were super excited to see Pix along with a bunch of our Hash and Burner friends from the Bay Area and Sacramento.

We scored a super "walk-up" site (no rezzies) and settled in with a few smaller hikes before everyone got there. Pix and her boyfriend PT, whom we call SP, came a few days early too and we had fun hiking and hanging out with them.

The butterflies were everywhere and appeared to be dead on the side of the trail, but in actuality they were just "resting" and you could actually pick them up!

A visitor in our "front yard"
It seems I neglected to get any pictures of all of the people! Oh well, the memories and trails were great - definitely check out the area if you get a chance.

The Pinnacles were formed from volcanic activity along the San Andreas Fault, some of the rocks have moved as far as Southern California through tectonic plate movement. There are caves and bats and amazing hiking.

If you look very, very closely you can see our fellow hikers in the crevice of the rocks.

Palm Desert and Julian, California - May 2013

This was written a few months ago BEFORE my life kind of veered off the road, so to speak!

We had an easy ride in from the hot springs to my parent's home. We actually arrived a few days ahead of schedule which was great because we were trying to squeeze in a trip to the Pinnacles National Park where a bunch of our friends were going to camp and hike. But first and foremost on our list was spending some time with my family and trying to find our friend Levi on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).

My parents live in Sun City, Palm Desert, with all sorts of rules about things - especially where you can park an RV  On prior visits we had noticed that there were RV's parked in front of homes for a few days and my mom found out that we could park in front of her house until 2am and then had to move to the main parking lot for overnight. The temps in the desert were hovering around 100 degrees and there was no way we were going to sleep in there without air conditioning but we still liked having regular access to our home. So every night we moved Bebe out to the main parking lot and every morning drove her back to the house. This really wasn't so bad except for the fact that things were melting in my house - like candles and chocolate! I think next time we hit the desert in the heat we will just go stay at a full-hook-up site close by. But all in all we had a great little visit. We got to see my brother and my nephews - unfortunately we also ended up in a little fender bender with my brother too, which really wasn't so great.
My brother's car on the left and ours on the right...ouch!
We had made reservations at the Idyllwild Park Campground for a couple of days close to when we thought Levi would be passing through the area. I had done quite a bit of research on the trail and we were really looking forward to being "trail angels" - helping the hikers out any way we could with rides, food, showers, etc. We had been in touch with Levi and it looked like it was going to be perfect timing until he ended up hobbling into Julian. He was devastated about the set back but we were in a perfect position to help out and after picking him up some orthotics we made the very pleasant drive to Julian. My mother let us take her car which was super fun to drive without the bikes and canoe and stick shift to deal with. We stopped at the post office in Warner Springs to pick up his packages and met a bunch of other "thru-hikers" there, whom we shared a few beers with, before getting to Julian in time for lunch. Levi was staying at a great little inn that catered to the PCT hikers and it was so great to see him! We met Levi and his wife, Amy, in Cedar Key when we were there in 2012 for two and a half months. Amy is hiking the Appalachian Trail, which Levi has already accomplished.

Internet Photo of Borrego Springs
Our travels back to Palm Desert led us through Borrego Springs, which we had heard was a great spot to "winter"in. Bill wasn't convinced, though, it is really in the middle of nowhere and didn't appear to have access to fresh vegetables and fruit - a big deal for us. But we were there in May and it was deserted. I am sure come December the place becomes a small, thriving city. I thought it had potential, maybe we'll check it out again at the end of the year.

We had a short, but sweet, visit with my parents and then we were off to meet up with friends for hiking in the Pinnacles National Park.