Tuesday, April 12, 2005

April 11, 2005 Interstate 10 to Whitewater River.

Dana Law, Bill Redman and Ray Ellis
Our first trip of the season was a day hike of 9.1 miles on trail. Making it a day hike was an adventure. After the rainest season in memory we restarted our journey north. The trail appears and disappears in the wash. Look for the 4X4 posts. Stubb Canyon Creek actually had some water in it up near the now defunct Pink Motel. The new owner has put up a sign welcoming hikers to pass through their property. There is a good stream running in Cottonwood Canyon. We missed the trailside map mentioned in the handbook. We did see something we never would have thought of seeing, a tortoise! It was twelve inches long and crawling the PCT. I suppose it is a good trail for them as well. Though the trail is carpeted with growth in many places it is easy to distinguish. The meeting of Gold and Teutang Canyon is dramatic. It reminded me of Desert Divide; a sliver of a saddle between two distinct areas. Descending into Teutang we passed several yards of trail undermined by erosion in the first tributary. There was water running well in the next two streams coming into the canyon. We met an old man with a giant pack coming down into the canyon. He looked very tired. He had parked somewhere on the other side of Whitewater though it was never clear. The far side of Teutang is like a beautiful mountainside meadow. From here you can see precipitous animal trails on the southwest side. Descending to Whitewater River we were amazed to see the PCT tread north had become a stream. It looks like you’ll have to walk the shoulder until it dries up. Now the big adventure began. We had turned this into a day hike by parking Bill’s truck a mile downstream at the road crossing in Whitewater Canyon. There used to be a trail but a few hundred yards downstream the river has eroded it. We spent a great deal of time safely fording the river in a zigzag manner to get on the opposite side. It was a bit scary. Once across we were able to walk to the truck. Lee, Trout farm employee, stopped by to say his boss didn’t want people to park there. I said we had heard it was BLM land even though it is posted no trespassing. He really was nice though. Asked us about our trip and gave me permission to walk up the east side of Whitewater River to connect with the PCT for our next hike to Onyx Summit. Here are the pictures

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