Thursday, January 1, 2009

1/2 of San Jacinto on New Years

First mistake I started out too late and hungover with 3 hours sleep from New Years Eve. Stopped for a microsleep in temecula parking lot hoping to stop swerving the car lot but I left the car headlights on and my battery died, I talked a baker into leaving his bagel shop to give me a jump.
The road to trailhead iced over, I try it anyways in my limpy daewoo sedan but halfway up I get stuck and have to slide backwards for 1/2 mile of downhill ess turns. I park on the main road and walk up to the trail head from there.
Georgeous as always being alone and breaking new snow. Only with everything snowed over I lost the trail took a wrong turn and ended up climbing into cluster of cabins and a lookout, pretty but not where I was supposed to be. I backtracked and studied topo map, tried to. Tried to place myself by eyeballing some ess turns and the angle between me and the mountains across from me. I make a note that I really have to learn some orienteering.
Found where I thought the trailhead started and then I knew for sure when I heard a loud group of snowshoers in front of me. I didn't want to be caught behind them so I sprinted up past them and struggled to maintain that buffer of silence between us. I'm happy to be inside that silent mountain loneliness. I'm still new enough at the gam to feel a weirdness in how empty it is, and it feels so much weirder when you can still see cities and people below you while you're in the middle of a forest at the same time. It is different than being in the middle of a real wilderness far as you can see. It feels like more of a secret that I've snuck away, as if the people in the city could see me up here the way I see them.
The rest of the day I followed some tracks up the snowed over trail, someone who'd brought snowshoes and a dog. I also spent the day wading knee-deep in snow, I only brought crampons but the snow was much to soft for them to do ay good.
To me its a hot day and I sweat a flood in just my shirt. I make it to just before the Marion Mountain campsites before I realize I have to start back to make the car by dark, having forgotten a headlamp too in my groggy hungover rush this morning. I stop and pour the water and slush out of my boots, cahnge my socks and cut out a pair of makeshift socks out of an old shirt in my pack. By the end of the day I've also torn my entire pant legs to shreds and I dont know how I didn't peel my legs off the bone.