Surviving The Pushawalla Trail

So, there we were, embarking on the legendary Pushawalla Trail – a hike hailed as a must-do for the 360-degree panoramic views, and, oh, did it deliver. But little did we know, this adventure would put our survival instincts to the test.

The day began with a GPS showdown. My GPS insisted on venturing into the unknown, while my wife’s GPS had grand plans of its own. It was like they were having a midlife crisis and couldn’t agree on which way to go. I took charge, declared both GPS devices officially insane, and turned back to the trailhead. Who needs technology when you’ve got gut instincts, right?

Behold the Pushawalla Palms Loop, a moderate 4.4-mile trail nestled near Thousand Palms, a hidden gem for enthusiasts of the great outdoors. This trail, adorned with beautiful wildflowers, is a haven for hikers, walkers, runners, and nature lovers alike. The prime time to revel in its wonders is from September to April, when the elements align to provide the most enchanting experience. So, lace up those boots, grab your water bottle, and get ready to dance with nature on this scenic loop that promises to be a journey worth savoring.

The Start

The beginning was all picturesque views and chilly winds, with a soundtrack of humming that rivaled a celestial symphony. The trail, marked by a narrow path, felt like a catwalk for mountain goats, and the absence of windbreaks turned us into unintentional kite runners. Add in some erosion-induced surrealism, and voila – we were on our way to becoming hiking legends.

As we ascended, the trail turned into a never-ending ridge, making us question if we had accidentally signed up for a stair-climbing marathon. The landscape resembled the badlands of South Dakota, with shrubs bravely defying the harsh climate from a safe distance. Cacti, our spiky companions, dotted the trail, reminding us that nature has a sense of humor.

Finding our way

Now, the middle part – the descent toward the palms. The well-marked trail decided to spice things up with a rocky path that could make even mountain goats second-guess their life choices. We crawled, we jumped, we questioned our life decisions. Finally, the Palm oasis, a scene straight out of a spooky movie. The water, sitting on the San Andreas fault line, smelled like rust and looked like something you’d find in a mad scientist’s lab. Not a creature in sight, though. Maybe the wildlife had a spa day scheduled elsewhere.

Getting lost

The final step, or as I like to call it, “The Lost Chronicles.” Trail markings vanished, and panic threatened to crash the party. Thanks to a fellow hiker’s advice, we miraculously found our way back, avoiding a potential family feud. The climb back up? Imagine a rocky path, colossal boulders, and a nostalgic game of follow-the-footprints for a good 20 minutes. GPS to the rescue, claiming our car was a mere 2 miles away. The kids, tired and cranky, faced the harsh reality – two more miles of fun.

Flat planes, rocky scrambles, sandy soils, and thorny shrubs – our return journey had it all. Somehow, within 30 minutes, we made it back to the car, not scared or upset, but enlightened. We had uncovered a new, unexpected way to hike back – a trail-blazing adventure, quite literally.In the end, we chuckled, shrugged off the chaos, and declared, “Let’s do it again!” Because who doesn’t love a hike that keeps you on your toes, even if those toes are slightly sore from clambering over boulders?

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