Blue Cut Loop Hike, Day 1

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Pinyon Well Parking Area to Pushawalla Canyon
4.5 mi :: 2.5 hr :: 960 ft

After a last-minute stop at Sport Chalet for a fleece jacket we couldn’t find at REI, and an omelet at Coco’s, we pull in to the trailhead on Geology Tour road around 2 pm. Ann navigates using the trail guidebook with included 1:100,000 topos, and the GPS receiver. For a while just the book description is good enough as we ascend a major wash, but eventually we reach a turn that is not described well. Looking at the map, I suggest the turn that seems less well-matched to the description, which frustrates her but seems like the only way to continue heading west. I don’t feel certain either, but we do reach the pass with the described cable fence and view of Mt. San Jacinto. From there we head down into Pushawalla Canyon. There we see flourishing chollas and a not-so-flourishing tarantula. After a couple hours we see a good campsite, pitch the new tent, and make up some veggie chili as the light fades. Looking back up the canyon with Ann, I daydream of the Continental Divide Trail, somewhere many days of walking beyond the horizon.

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