I didn’t expect to hike on Sunday after my 14.5 mile hike in the San Gorgonio Wilderness on Saturday with Shana. But when I heard that my mom was planning on doing the Dripping Springs Trail in the Agua Tibia Wilderness which I’ve always wanted to do, I asked her if I could come along. When she said sure, I quickly reorganized my hiking gear on Saturday night for my early Sunday morning departure. The trailhead is in the Dripping Springs campground, off of Highway 79 in Temecula. We started around 9 a.m. in a canyon dotted with Sycamore trees. But the vegetation quickly changed to chaparral. At the fork one could make a left and take the Wild Horse trail. We stayed to our right to take the Dripping Springs trail.
It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed the Mediterranean-like weather and views of the wineries and lush, green canyons. As we gained elevation, we could see San Jacinto and San Gorgonio to the north. My mom’s original plan was to do a 14-mile out and back hike, but when she mentioned that one can also combine trails to make a 20-mile loop hike, I suggested that we do that instead. Once we got onto the Palomar Magee trail, the vegetation got dense. My friend did this hike a few years ago and he returned with a lot of ticks. Sure enough, my mom and I were taking ticks off our hiking pants and stopping every once in a while for a tick check. At this point, my enjoyment level plummeted.
When we finally reached an open dirt road, we made a right and continued until we got to a gate with a No Trespassing sign. But we didn’t see the main trail. My mom and I thought about what to do and if we went back, our hike would definitely be more than 20 miles. I decided to just trespass and find the main road back to the highway. Well, that was one of three No Trespassing signs we saw/crawled under. I don’t know how many private properties we hiked into and I don’t have any pictures to post because I was too scared to take pictures. We did pass some vineyards and trailer homes but we didn’t want to disturb the residents and dogs for fear of prosecution.
We kept wondering how and where we missed the Wild Horse trail, but at that point there was no use in wasting our energy thinking about that. We had to focus on finding the highway. Eventually we saw the road. It was a long walk back to the campground on pavement and I’m sure we were the talk of many drivers.
I think my mom and I learned a few things from this experience:
1) We obviously didn’t pay attention during the
Land Navigation course
2) Always have a copy of the map
3) I should be an expert with my GPS
4) Stick to the original plan
I’m glad we returned safely to the car. Surprisingly after our 9.5 hour hike I still had enough energy to make a stop at Trader Joe’s for Stockyard Oatmeal Stout and Lindeman’s Peche Lambic Belgian beer. By the way, I prefer the Framboise.