Day 14: Whitewater

14 April 2021
Tamarack Road to Mission Creek
PCT Mile 209.6 to 225.9

It was so nice to sleep in a bed out of the wind last night. And since the weather was going to be cool, we planned a leisurely 10am departure. Just enough time for me to catch up with the blog!

But more importantly, it gave us time to digest the breakfast we had at Gramma’s Country Kitchen! We made easy work of our chicken fried steak, omelette, home fries, eggs over easy, biscuits and gravy, and toast.

Yes we ate all of this
Me too, kid

We called an Uber and when we got back to trail immediately ran into Ezra! He is still hiking with the same group and he was going to try to convince them to zero in Banning too.

The PCT in this part skirts the tiny settlement of Whitewater, which evokes a Breaking Bad vibe.

(Walter) Whitewater
Shell we get the hell out of here?
Ahhh, back in Nature
This way

It was a gentle climb into the desert hills when we encountered some hikers Goose knew, Trainwreck and Red Light. They were a hoot!

Goose made a video with them that he posted on his Instagram account @tuckerontrail — he has tons of videos from the trail so far, if you want to go check them out.

Goose, Trainwreck, and Red Light, on location

The climb remained gentle until about half mile before a saddle we had to get over.

New section!
Echinocereus engelmannii engelmannii
And its bloom
Yellow tack-stem
Thistle sage
Mediterranean stork’s-bill
Heading up to the saddle

For some extra motivation, Goose played a couple of songs by Dierks Bentley, Free and Easy, and The Mountain. The lyrics hit close to home and it was so beautiful climbing past all these gorgeous flowers that the JimmyJam tear dam burst again.

It was a nice moment.

Climbing the mountain, free and easy

It was steep again for a bit on the other side of the saddle as we hiked down, and then more rolling as we headed over to the Whitewater River. On south facing slopes we had to deal with intense wind again today, but nothing like yesterday!

Looking back from the saddle
And forward. Wow!
California bee plant
Greenspot nightshade
Don’t blow away!
Lupine seed pods
California gilia
Eriophyllum confertiflorum confertiflorum
Purple owl’s clover
Whitewater River

We ran into a bunch of hikers at a shady spot by the river crossing, including Berk and GroundScore, and Eddie who I shared a ride with from Julian to trail. I forgot to take pictures there (d’oh!).

Goose and I had to decide whether to press on. There was a campsite in 3 miles that was supposed to have good cell service, so we aimed for that one.

Narrow-leaved Yerba Santa
The other side of Whitewater

It was a good climb up there, but the wind was still strong so we decided to continue on to Mission Creek. Lots of other hikers had the same plan, so we turned off the trail about half mile before the main campsite and found our own spot right near the creek.

Another climb
Having fun!
Scarlet bulger
Mission Creek
Mule fat

It was perfect! A flowing stream, crickets, frogs, owls, and doves all sang in unison a gentle lullaby that coaxed me to sleep.

Cold-soaked ramen with hot sauce!
View from our campsite

Today’s Hike-U:

On Dierks’ Free and Easy
Floating on the wind,
A lyric brought me to tears
For my lucky life

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Glide says:

    I’m loving your blog! Thanks for taking the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jaunting Jan says:

    Thanks for labeling flowers. Enjoying your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. reneehikes says:

    I’m loving your blog and have been lurking from the beginning. Thanks for taking the time to put your daily stories together, and for the beautiful flower pictures. And thank you for sharing about your tears today; I cry often on trail too – when I’m struck by how beautiful or wonderful the trip is, and how lucky I am to be there. Have a great hike, JimmyJam! I’m living vicariously through you this year and hope to hike the PCT some day too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. JimmyJam says:

      Glad you are enjoying it!

      Liked by 1 person

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