Down the hill

by Gillian Larson | posted: May 1, 2016

We had a cold start to the morning up on Fuller Ridge, but during the day, as we descended toward the desert below, the temperatures gradually rose from an overnight low in the high 20's or low 30's into an afternoon high of over 80--so I was shedding layers like a lizard as we went! And speaking of reptiles, I had to stop and take a selfie with this beautiful gopher snake that I saw along the trail, just like I caught a rosy boa in roughly the same area in 2014.

Gopher snake along the trail coming down from San Jacinto

Later, we paused to look back at the snow that we were leaving behind us.

Looking back at the north side of San Jacinto

Finally we made it down to the desert floor, where we could look back up at the mountains and hear thunder rumbling in the distance behind us. It was a little hard to believe that we had actually come all the way down that steep and rugged hillside (and still had miles to go to get to Whitewater later that day!)

Thunderstorm over San Jacinto

We passed underneath Interstate 10 (after also having to contend with windmills and freight trains on

the way there) and then headed to Whitewater Preserve, where my mother was going to pick us up with the trailer.

Nearing Whitewater Preserve


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