Well, I attempted this anyway. Was planning a triumphant return with H. to conquer Miller and get back in time for a birthday / brew party. Was not to be.
Turns out that going to a work related wedding the night before, drinking a fair amount, getting up at 3am and hiking in the unseasonal heat is a bad idea. Made it up 3,000′ to 5,700′ or so and then fatigue turned into nausea turned into a revisiting of the morning’s foods and liquids in reverse order. Very entertaining. More than anything, felt bad that I as slowing H. down.
Thought I’d feel better after the purge, but another hundred feet up or so and I realized that there was no way I could eat anything or drink much, and that meant going any further was a bad idea. After a quick conversation and some winging on my part, I headed down and H. continued up (with my encouragement).
On the way down, it was actually quite beautiful and peaceful, and much faster. Until it got hot, then hotter, and hotter. I arrived at the creek bed at the bottom a dusty, sweaty mess. Came up out of the drainage to find a security guard waiting for me.
“You know it’s a $6,000 fine and 3 months in prison if you’re caught here,” he said. “This is a protected watershed.”
“I did not know that,” I said, which was mostly true. I thought there was something out of bounds about the creek bed, but couldn’t remember what I knew when. “How are we supposed to access Letherneck Ridge?”
“What’s that?” he asked.
I waved vaguely to the towering ridgeline behind us. He shrugged; whatever.
I trudged back to the car, feeling surprisingly worked but grateful to be back early and san prison time. I took one last look up at the rock faces below San Jacinto and wished H. well — knowing he would be mocking me about this for freaking years — and then cranked the air conditioning. It was worth it.