I thought I was going to die. The 20 mile road from Banning California to Idyllwild where Mt San Jacinto State Park lies is arguably the most scary drive I have been on in years. Tight switchbacks, plunging cliffs, narrow lanes. It makes HIGHWAY 1 near the Russian River seem like Disneyland’s Utopia car ride.
But once you arrive amongst the 60 foot high pine trees and the crisp clean air you realize maybe you did die because you are now in Valhalla. But then you realize there is something wrong. It is beautiful, sure, but there is a problem. They don’t want you there. Really.
The campsites are striking but they are hell to back into without going the wrong way down one way street. The showers are nice but the clean ones were located far away in the tent campground, the ones near the electric RV sites, are dirty.
Oh yeah, there is what happened to my catsup. You see, I store my catsup upside down so it comes out nicely, evenly when I want to put a little on my burger or perhaps my avacado (don’t knock it till you try it. ) Well, this morning I got ready to enjoy my avacado, opened the catsup and suddenly it erupted like Mt Vesuvius. It poured out like hot magma on Hawaii’s Mount Kilauea. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t realize till too late that being at 6000 feet caused an inequality between the inner pressure and outer pressure of the catsup bottle. The next thing I knew I had catsup on my shorts and catsupy eggs. Bummer bummer.
The small town of Idllywild is very cool with trendy stores and nifty restaurants, but to get there you have to walk a short distance down the edge of a busy street. The roads are dangerous to cross and the trails, if you can find one, are washed out and unmarked. They don’t want you there.
On the second day Vicki and I hiked around Fulmore lake.
Very impressive until you see the broken down walkways and unkept picnic areas. But the signs and fencing saying “keep out, this forest is reserved for university students who respect it “ are prestine. ( I added “...who respect it.”)
i am not angry, just sad. And not because I got a $5.00 parking ticket from a couple of grungy guys in an old white pickup truck. It was because the pass you get to park is obtained in one of the trendy stores in town. Oh, and they want cash. Funny huh.
They want your money, but stay away.
Driving around. we pulled into one of the pullouts with a marked trail. It had warnings screaming watch out for mountain lions and snakes and bears. The trail was washed out, picnic tables broken, old fire pits falling apart. At the start of the trail we saw sign after sign warning everyone to stay 10 feet away from the stream. DONT BOTHER THE LITTLE FROGS OR YOU WILL GO TO JAIL
They didn’t want you there.
The forest is overrun with dead wood, ripe for a forest fire. Again, I am not angry, just sad. I for one won’t return. It’s beautiful but the whole vibe here is a mixture of “we want your money now shut up and accept what we give you which you don’t deserve.“ They think they are managing this forest but in reality they are mismanaging it. They should take a lesson from Florida or Arizona or Tennessee or Missouri or nearly ever other state.
A beautiful park
They don’t want me here so I will stay away.