Day 14 - whitewater canyon to san beRnardino national forest
April 10 | Miles 218 - 235.5
Today was a test of patience.
It started with a descent to the floor of the canyon and a crossing of Whitewater River. The trail snuck through what felt like a giant, dry, sandy riverbed.
Slowly, it crept up a series of dry hills. I ran into the giant crew I’d seen the day before, and they invited me to camp with them again. I tentatively agreed. They had an interesting way of communicating with each other… screaming WOOOOHOOO off cliffsides to their counterparts…
What followed afterwards was another descent–this time down to Mission Creek, which seemed innocuous at first.
The next five hours were spent navigating at least 30 crossings of this ridiculous body of water. The trail was basically unfindable. I fought downed trees and thorny bushes in a bid to keep my feet dry. My legs paid the price… as did my left butt cheek, which got a good scrape on an especially tricky rock scramble. The perils of short shorts.
And my dry feet didn’t last.
On one particularly hopeful jump, I missed a log landing and fell ass-first into the freezing water, soaking myself and all my gear. I wasn’t asking for a bath but I guess the trail provides.
After I’d drenched all three pairs of socks I was carrying, I arrived exhausted at the previously agreed-upon camp spot. There was no one there.
On the bright side, I snagged a prime patch of dirt for the night, virtually windless and protected by trees.
Really the redeeming point of the day was finding a pinecone as big as my head.
I crawled into my quilt and enjoyed a dreamless sleep, waking only at midnight to get a good glimpse of the cloudless starry night outside. Some days you’re the windshield and some you’re the fly.