Judging from the good feeling we had last week at Tahquitz Falls, we thought we could ride this momentum into Idyllwild and bag a couple more waterfalls we hadn’t seen before. The only bummer from the last trip was that I was coming down with a nasty cold.
With my cold pretty much over, it was time to get out and about again…
By now, we were starting to get into a routine with Tahia. Her wake-up time was around 6am and we spent that time feeding her, getting all the pre-prepared bottles ready for a full day, and bring all the diapers and other things necessary to get things going.
So by 7:30am, we were out the door and headed to my parents’ place. We were going to bring Mom along just in case the hikes were too ambitious for bringing Tahia.
We eventually got there shortly before 8am and it wasn’t until about 8:15am when we finally left for the excursion of the day.
The drive was pretty much familiar like last week as we took nearly the same route towards the I-10. However, instead of going all the way to Cabazon then Palm Springs, we got off the Hwy 243 and headed south towards Idyllwild.
Hwy 243 was much narrower and twistier as it wound its way up through some bouldery mountains and eventually into the San Bernardino National Forest. This part of the San Bernardinos we had never been to before.
The sunny day was proving to be yet another warm day though we were already at about 4000 or 5000ft so the air was a little crisper and cooler. But when we stole a glance to our right in the direction of Riverside County, we could see a thick blanket of dark haze.
There was no doubt that that was the accumulation of the dirty Los Angeles smog, and boy were we glad we were able to get some relief from that mess. But we’d be breathing that crap soon enough when we had to return.
Eventually, we reached a turnoff for several campgrounds including Dark Canyon. But by 10am, we got to the turnoff for Dark Canyon only to be immediately met with a closure gate that prevented further vehicular access.
Thinking it probably wasn’t much further beyond this gate, Mom and I went for a walk to see if we could quickly bag this series of cascades before continuing on to Idyllwild for lunch and then possibly bagging Fuller Mill Creek Falls before going home. Julie stayed behind in the car to watch and feed Tahia.
After what seemed like an unusually long time walking (maybe 20-30 minutes), it became painfully obvious that maybe this drive to the campground was a little farther than what was practical. Certainly we had already gone close to a mile one-way downhill and we’d had to get this back.
So I stole another glance at the Ann Marie Brown book and that was when I realized that it was an additional 1.5 miles from the gate to the campground. That meant it was 3 miles round trip, and when you add that with the 2 miles round trip of scrambling, it would be a 7-mile round trip affair!
Thus, Mom and I turned back and rejoined Julie and Tahia at 10:50am. It was a nice walk, but in this case, it was just a case of bad timing. I guess they open up the campground in May (wonder if the water will be less by then), though I wondered whether April (now) should’ve been just as good…