The sign warns of potential hazard as the trail leads above tree line on San Jacinto Peak.
hike blog

PCT Day 126, water faucet to North Fork San Jacinto River, 20 miles

The road to success is always under construction. Lily Tomlin

The sign warns of potential hazard as the trail leads above tree line on San Jacinto Peak.
The sign warns of potential hazard as the trail leads above tree line on San Jacinto Peak.

It was a night of dueling owls and a morning of dueling doves. A falling star flew through the sky just as Ted informs me it‘s 5:00. I guess manually changing your iPhone clock ahead of daylight savings doesn’t work since my clock reads 4:00. I much prefer a bit more sleep, but he’s up surprisingly fast and packing already, so I make coffee and top up our water. One glorious part of cowgirl camping is not having to deal with a tent, setting it or packing it up, so it’s relatively easy in dry sand to pack up and go. A huge day awaits us – twenty miles and 7,200 feet of climbing, and we’ll have to carry all the water we’ll need for the climb.

San Jacinto rises dramatically from the desert, foreboding. I can see weathered rock outcroppings in funky shapes high above as well as pine trees, but not a clue as to where the trail goes. We pass a landmark on the map app of ‘rusted pipe’ before heading up on well graded switchbacks. We breath steadily, and even though it’s hard work heading up, the path is gradual and, at this time of day, still cool in the shade.