Day 16
Miles: 217 to 235
The night was not as restful as we imagined. There was a van parked near where we camped and they drove back and forth the parking lot few times in the middle of the night. Don’t ask me what the reason was. 

Dave had even less rest as his sleeping pad developed a leak and he woke on the ground couple times. 

Walking out of the Preserve

We started hiking at 6:00 am, walking 0.60 miles back to PCT and then we followed Whitewater River for nearly two miles to a spot where we had to wade it. The water was so refreshing. 

The trail then took us over a saddle and down and up again and for a while we ran a ridge with amazing views of St. Jacinto and Big Bear.

Superb views before fog swallowed them

That’s where the weather started to change. First it was the two big mountains that disappeared in the clouds, then the clouds dropped and soon we walked in the fog. 

The sun did not make appearance for the rest of the day and while it was ok when hiking, I had to put a layer on every time we stopped for a break.

Pretty desert flower

Hiking was rather easy, we followed couple streams up beautiful valleys and all our elevation was gained on somewhat easy grade. The clouds rolled in and out and everything around us was so quiet and peaceful.

When we arrived at mile 235 where we planned to camp, three tents were already set up near the creek but just few feet higher we found a bigger campsite which seemed more comfortable. It filled with four more tents in an hour after our arrival and soon eight of us were sitting in a circle chatting until hiker’s midnight. 

Hiking in fog