Turbines and trains and tunnels--oh my!

by Gillian Larson | posted: April 11, 2014

The horses might not be afraid of snakes, but once I reached the valley floor on Thursday evening I did encounter a whole new set of frightening horse-eating monsters--or so Takoda seemed to think. First it was the Spinning Pinwheels of Death, as Takoda imagined the whirling wind turbines of the Cabazon Pass to be. Then it was the Freight Train from Hell that roared straight toward us huffing and puffing and whistling and honking. After that came the Tunnel of Doom, which was the underpass of the interstate that threatened to swallow us up alive. By this time it was growing dark (my mom had planned to meet us to swap horses at Snow Creek, but driving over the mountain three times--once with the camper then back with my dad and stepmom and Dad's cousin Gordon and then back again with the truck and trailer with Shyla--had taken longer than expected, especially after the long drive back down from Black Mountain road), and I was trying to find Ziggy and the Bear in Whitewater, the trail angels where we planned to spend the night. The Bear even drove out in search of me with my mom, but all they kept finding were our hoofprints in the sand, and by the time they got back, Takoda and I had managed to find our way there on our own. Mom and I made a make-shift corral by angling our two trucks and trailers together into a rectangle (literally circling the wagons) and then I got to meet some of my fellow PCT hikers who were also taking advantage of the wonderful hospitality offered by Ziggy and the Bear, who have already hosted 54 people this year--I was number 55, and got my mug shot taken by the Bear to prove it!


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