Place: Pinnacles National Park, Paicines, California
Coordinates: 36.482288, -121.162274
Length: about 6 miles round trip
Level: moderate (because of rugged trail condition in some places).
I woke up on the final day of my solo prep trip to the Pinnacles with plenty of time before having to go home and no more 'must do' trails. It was a wonderful opportunity to explore the Pinnacles' more peripheral areas. I selected the South Wilderness Trail and after breaking camp I packed everything in the car and drove to the trailhead.
|Woolly Bluecurls (Trichostema lanatum)|
Butterflies were everywhere, enjoying the fantastic bloom in ways more practical than mine. Sometimes they even stood still for a second and posed.
A cluster of scarlet buglers grows by the intersection with the South Wilderness Trail. These common penstemons were just beginning their spring bloom.
I continued south, going in and out of tree groves. Relishing the shade, enjoying the bright light. A lot of hyperactive butterflies flying around me.
The day grew hotter by the minute. As I progressed south the trees seemed fewer too. The air shimmered in the heat and I dripped sweat on the trail. The golden California Poppies looked like little flames burning on their narrow stems.
And lots of pretty wildflowers.
The trail curved into the creek bed and disappeared. It wasn't the end, I was pretty sure about it. Not year, anyway.
|White Skipper Butterfly|
I reached the end of the trail and the turn-around point. I was hot and dripping sweat. I found a large oak with a low-hanging branch and sat down to rest and eat.
I was completely alone. There was no sign or sound of any other humans in that area so I allowed myself a privilege usually kept for males and let the light breeze on my skin.
I wanted was to lie down and take a nap but I needed to start going back. I got to my feet and slung the backpack on my shoulders and started north on the same trail I arrived by.
|Black Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)|
I remained decent for the rest of the hike.
I didn't want to stop for anything, anymore, but I cannot resist a pretty flower.