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26 March 2017 @ 03:03 pm
Whitewater  
Place: Whitewater Preserve, Riverside County, California
Date: February 22, 2017
Weather: Clear and sunny but with a biting wind.
Click through to Flickr for larger versions of the photos.

The first day in Palm Springs, I went to the Whitewater Preserve, north of town. I was planning to do a hike that was described as easy. It involved crossing the Whitewater River, hiking up a ridge. Then you walk along the ridge for some wonderful views, before you descend into the valley and cross the river again.

At the start of the hike, I'm looking north toward the snow-capped Mount San Gorgonio.
Snow capped Mount San Gorgonio.

Unfortunately the bridge across the river had been washed away by the recent rain storms. Rather than risk life and limb, trying to balance on some logs that the volunteers had laid out, I just hiked up and down the river valley.

This area has been a stopping point for travelers for generations. In some places there are remnants of earlier buildings. Like this rusty pipe.
Pipe.

Here I'm back near the ranger station. There's a picnic area here and some wading pools. I thought this willow was pretty impressive, particularly because the Palm Springs area is a desert. The vegetation around the river is rather different than that further away.
Impressive willow tree.

Another remnant of previous inhabitants. It had probably been deposited here by floodwaters. It's a concrete mixer.
Ex-concrete mixer.

A part of the trail went through dense brush, full of frogs. I couldn't see any frogs, but I sure could hear them. Click through to Flickr for the video.
Frog Chorus

Looking south along the valley toward Mount Saint Jacinto. Later that day I was planning on taking the aerial tramway up to the top of it to see the sunset.
Looking south.

Another sign of the unusually heavy rainfall this winter -- this road isn't usually a ford. I was a bit worried crossing it in my rental Prius. In the UK, there are plenty of fords, but they're always clearly signposted, so you know it's safe. There was no sign here because it's so rare that there is more water than the culvert under the road can handle.
San Jacinto.

A closer look at that seasonal ford shows the speed of the water. Click through to Flickr for the video.
Whitewater Ford

Returning along the trail, there was a sign saying that it wasn't suitable for Segways. Having hiked along it, I can attest to that. Truth be told, I took the photo mostly because it might serve as a funny interlude in a future PowerPoint presentation.
No segways.

I was a bit disappointed that my hike didn't turn out better, even if this landscape is captivating. Still, I knew I would get my fill of sweeping vistas later that evening.
Valley.