Day 18: Down, down, down into the Desert

April 8, 2018


Golden sunrise.
Bye, Mt. San Jacinto!
Early morning start with the trail fam

The next day we continued hiking down the mountain back into the hot, flat desert toward Interstate 10, where we hoped to hitch into Cabazon. This is not a typical hiker stop or resupply point mainly because it’s along a major freeway and is not an easy hitch, but Ghosthiker had a resupply box waiting there for her. Thankfully, our hiker friend Lady had some friends that were meeting her where the trail passes under the overpass. She told us they’d be hanging out there for a while with water, snacks, and cold beer! We were welcome to partake if we made it there before they departed again.

Hiking above the clouds
So cold up there, so HOT down here!

That day, hiking down the steep trail off the mountain, we passed the 200 mile marker! 200 miles, baby!!

Once we got off the mountain and down onto the desert floor, the trail exited onto a paved road and there was a spigot to refill our water. We passed a post with lots of little wooden signs pointing the way, quietly walked past several houses, and then had to cross a wide expanse of loose, sandy trail for what felt like miles and miles before we finally reached a tunnel beneath the interstate. Following that, we came out on the other side and found Lady and her friends as well as a few other hikers, all enjoying trail magic together.

The view of Mt. San Jacinto from the desert.

So yeah, we definitely made it in time to partake of some cold beer and gooey brownies! Not only that, but Lady’s friends were more than happy to give us a ride into Cabazon! We had all decided that after the last few days we’d had, a night in a hotel would be a welcome treat. It felt a little soon after Idyllwild, but we were all exhausted and had experienced two windy, sleepless nights in a row. The only hotel within walking distance of anything useful (The Post Office and an In-N-Out Burger) was the Morongo Nation casino and resort hotel. Even with Ghosthiker’s retired police officer discount, the room was still outrageously expensive but split three ways we decided it was worth it. 

The hotel had an amazing pool area with a man-made lazy river for floating. We were all so hungry that we decided a trip to In-N-Out Burger would need to happen first before any swimming could commence. This proved to be a mistake. By the time we showered, went for food, and walked back to the hotel, the sun was setting and it was getting too chilly for swimming. Ghosthiker was pretty disappointed. I was, too.

Day 19: The Mesa Wind Farm and Whitewater Preserve

Published by rogerssj23

I'm a long-distance hiker, an audiobook producer, and an amateur writer. I live in the woods in a renovated 1972 Airstream with my Golden Retriever Zoe. Read more about my hiking adventures at

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