Ah! Paradise!

Nance Canyon was our camp on Saturday evening the 29th. It was a narrow, sandy former stream bed with a lot of brush. About 20 others stayed there too but we found the last, best campsite. There was nothing much to see except brush and rocks.

After walking several hours on Sunday, we came to Hwy 74. Diane was waiting for us to deliver us to the Paradise Cafe. Actually, it was a coincidence that Diane was just dropping off another hiker to go on. Diane moved her Macy’s bag and drove us the mile in her air-conditioned Lexus with leather seats. She was incredibly nice and pleasant. We were just a bit perplexed though because she seemed completely unconcerned about how dirty we were. Nonetheless thanks were effusive.

Paradise Ale is a delicious honey blond brew. It went well with a Jose Burger and a Paradise Salad with yummy cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, and Cojita cheese. Couldn’t resist sharing a three-scoop bowl of ice cream to finish it all off.

Up the trail 4 more miles to camp after walking back to the trail. (No Diane!)

The following day we climbed mucho feet up the ridges toward Mt San Jacinto in increasing winds. As we continued, Elaine often measured the wind with her hand-held weather station. At moments the wind reached 40 mph! And the temperature was in the low 40s!

We persisted and finally came to the Spitler Saddle where we planned to camp. Nope! 30-35 mph winds with clouds scudding the trail.

After a short discussion, down the trail toward lower winds and our eventual campsite by the road at the Spitler Trailhead (no services).

In the morning (4/30), we walked the Mountain Fire alternate 10 miles to Idyllwild and arrived at 12:30. Cold drinks and a bag of Ruffles chips tasted pretty good on our arrival in Idyllwild. Campsite at the state park, a shower (with no towel), and a load of laundry later, we’re at the Lumber Mill Bar and Grill for an early dinner.

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