Trail angel Rick met me at the casino and I got a nice early 5:50 am start for what would likely be a hot and long day. It was lovely to be clean and rested!
The trail was pretty mellow for several miles and water would be available 10 miles in at Whitewater river. The hundreds of windmills were omnipresent, but not 1 was operational.
Section C signs
Highway 18 to get to Big Bear area was my loose goal for a trail break, 54 miles up.
This section was very exposed, open and dry. Kevin said it was like “hiking in an ashtray”. I agreed.
The path meanders straight up around 2500 elevation gain that day. Cold early on then pretty hot.
1st view of the Whitewater river
Got to the Whitewater river at mile 10 and got to rest and soak my feet. Lots of loose rocks to walk on around here.
The open views and exposed areas continued as I climbed
Starting to see signs of water and Mission Creek in the distance 6 miles from Whitewater River
Mission creek area. Got some shade and water and decided to push on another 5 miles. Little did I know!
The hiking in this section was brutal. Tough rocks to hike on, no clear path, and no easy-to-see trail markers. Everyone, including me, gets lost numerous times and has to use the Guthooks GPS to refind the trail. It’s was hard, frustrating and exhausting, as we also were climbing significantly. After 3 miles of hunt and peck walking, I was beat and decided to camp. 19 miles in today, but I was gassed
These rock cairns were the only trail marking for most of the 12 miles the trail follows Mission Creek.
What a brutal day!