Saturday, April 28, 2018

A Few Hikes and Upcoming Road Trip

We finally got out for a few hikes over the past couple weeks. It’s easy to get lazy and just hang out here at Jojoba Hills since we can walk, play pickleball and ping pong, work out, etc. without leaving the park. But I was wanting to do a real hike, so on one of our grocery shopping trips to Temecula we stopped along the way at Dripping Springs, a forest service campground with two very nice trails. We’ve hiked the Dripping Springs trail a few times, and Suzanne and I hiked the Wild Horse trail a couple years ago but Jim didn’t join us so he wanted to check it out.

It’s a good trail that gains elevation from the start but it’s mostly a gradual uphill trek with nice views.




Another day we drove 20 miles east to Warner Springs, where we hiked along part of the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail. We’ve hiked to Eagle Rock in the past but this time decided to go a few miles in the other direction and see what it looked like. This isn’t the most scenic part of the PCT but it was an easy hike with not much elevation change.




Resident wildlife along the trail.


Across from the fire station where we started is the Community Resource Center that accommodates PCT thru-hikers with a store, showers, laundry and a place to pitch your tent. There were a lot of tired looking hikers hanging around. They get around 2,000 hikers stopping by during the months of April and May heading north from the Mexican border where the trail begins.


Our last hike was on Tuesday when we joined a group from Jojoba Hills and drove about 40 miles to Idyllwild where it was almost 20 degrees cooler at 6,000’, a nice respite from the desert. We hiked the 5.2 mile out and back Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail. Jim actually had a good time, despite looking so serious in this photo.


Suicide Rock, where we’ve hiked in the past. Neither of us remembered to bring a camera, so our phones had to make do, hence the strange colors.




Lilly Rock.


It was a fairly easy trail with about 700’ of elevation gain, one creek crossing and only a few rocky areas. And mostly in the shade.



We came upon this woman with her two well-behaved dogs, who do their part by carrying their own snacks and water.


On Thursday we met up with Hemet friends George and Tina for lunch in Temecula at Garage Brewery. It’s our new favorite next to Karl Strauss, and Jim really likes their Marshmallow Milk Stout on nitro. Since we saw them last year they’ve been to Iceland and even rented an RV there for a couple weeks. This fall they are taking a seven week Silk Road adventure tour. It’s always interesting hearing about their travels. I just wish I had thought to take a picture of Tina’s sassy pink hair!

And lastly, a few photos from our yard.



The amaryllis are just gorgeous.


We saw this on a street in the park. Not sure what it is but we knew he was non-venomous so Jim nudged him out of the road so he didn’t get run over.


Tomorrow we’re heading off to Prescott, AZ for a couple weeks to meet up with friends, then we’ll come back to Jojoba since we need to return to Algodones to finish our dental work in a few weeks. Also Terry and LuAnn will be back tomorrow (sadly we will miss them) and we’re looking forward to spending some time with them before we all head out for our summer travels.


  1. Good choice hiking the E-Max Trail from the bottom! Your park is awaking to Spring nicely.

  2. Your yard is beautiful!! Such pretty flowers!! Sounds like you all were able to get in a few great hikes!!

  3. Sure looks like what is called Rubber Boa. They usually hide in forested areas in tree bark, heavy bogs, harmless to man. In fact the Rubber Boa can be worn around your wrist as a bracelet (your warm arm) and will stay there to be warm. They aren't easy to find unless you want to peel bark from downed trees and see where they curl up in the bark. Harmless to man,they won't even bite. The ones here in N.W. have small eyes compared to this guy. IS he under about 10-15 inches?

    1. Interesting, but this was a good size snake, at least 3-4 feet long.

  4. We hiked the Ernie Maxwell trail when we stayed in Hemet. I thought the trail name sounded familiar but it was suicide Rock that I really remembered. Idyllwild is nowhere ville. Your yard is beautiful!! Love the flowers. Enjoy Prescott!! Sorry you will miss Terry and LuAnn.

  5. I wanna go to the Garage Brewery for some chilly Hatch Chili beer!!!! Why didn't you take us there?

    1. Looks like you will just have to come back and visit us here next winter!

  6. Oh, and say "Hey" to Scamps for us. Tell them they need to come back to Lovely Ouray for Wildflower Season :)

  7. It's a boa.

    Have fun in Prescott, we may return there in Sept.

    1. Thanks for the snake ID. Interesting that they only live in this part of California. We met someone on the Wildhorse Trail who had just seen a rosy boa but it was gone by the time we got there.

  8. I can see why Jim would want to do the Wild Horse Trail. Hiking sections of the PCT is like doing the same thing on the AT. There are really lovely sections and some really difficult ones. Not many miles of just flat and easy. I think you are really lucky to have all these hiking possibilities and the group so close at hand. That’s a lot to recommend Jojoba not to mention your really lovely yard. What a plus!

  9. You do have a lot of nice hiking options nearby but I'm thinking the temps will be more tolerable at White Spar.

  10. We are like two ships passing in the night. After a long overnight flight (well, actually two), we arrived back to Jojoba on Sunday at around 5:30. Have a wonderful time in Prescott. We will see you in a couple of weeks.

  11. You really do have the best of both worlds with your pretty site there and all the nature to play in surrounding you. And of course a good brewery!

  12. Hi Jim and Gayle,

    The photos are great as usual, and the flowers in your yard are beautiful! I especially like amaryllis. We saw some doubles in Mexico that were really special, but they are all special. The hiking is one of many things I'm looking forward to getting back to in November. We've started our reservations and will be at MM November 15. It looks like I'll be working on the East coast for the remainder of the summer, either in GA or TN if it works out. The more hay I put away now the more time I'll have to play later in the year and next. We miss you both, keep safe and happy!