The other evening, at our margarita dinner, Nina suggested we take this hike.
Sadly, Paul was out of town and couldn't join us today, we all missed him.
Whitewater Preserve is a 2,851 acre wilderness preserve, the Whitewater river running through its center. Barely running at this time of year, but the presence of any running water in this desert environment seems so otherworldly to me.
The stone lined sandy trail begins alongside a beautifully clear pond and between two huge palms.
Dogs are allowed on this trail, on leash, and Lewis was almost beside himself with excitement. My right arm and his neck are now at least 6 inches longer as a result of his constant pull on the leash. The trail was narrow and we walked along mostly single file. Nina and Polly were first, and Lewis wanted to be up there with those two. Oh my... He chortled and whistled and cried with sheer excitement. After a half mile or so, we let both dogs off their leashes and they were free to move at their own pace.
It was quite warm out, and we were happy when we came to the slow moving, shallow river. It ran along in the shade of huge fanglomerate cliffs, we enjoyed the shade and the dogs enjoyed galloping around in the water.
|Lewis smells a dead thing|
We continued along the trail until we came to a fork. John and Pam decided to take the trail that wound up into the mountains and the rest of us turned back to check out the trout ponds and picnic area.
|a required sit for treat at the fork in the trail|
After Pam and John left us we explored more of the riverbank on our way back.
In 1939 this canyon was home to the Whitewater Trout Company, a family owned company supplying trout to the lakes in the San Diego area. In 2006 the company closed and a group of conservationists bought the land to keep it from being developed. The Wildlands Conservancy was then able to buy it at a discounted rate, dismantle the commercial trout hatchery and build what is now the Whitewater Preserve to provide free access for hiking, backpacking, picnicking and outdoor education.
The picnic area and remaining trout ponds are simply beautiful. We walked along the different ponds, watching the huge trout swim lazily by.
|Dave looks at fish, Lewis looks for Polly|
Trees shading the granite picnic tables were teeming with birds - flickers, woodpeckers, vireo, phainopepla and more I couldn't see well enough to identify.
Dave and I decided to stay and enjoy lunch under the huge cottonwoods and sycamores.
|tiny yellow blooms on a brittlebush|
|mounds of brittlebush line the road|
On our way home we stopped at the Windmill Market, home of the best date shake in the valley (self proclaimed). It was very good.
Tomorrow Mr. David's Mobile Dog Grooming and Hair Salon has promised to send his much sought after Dirty Desert Dog Specialist to wash and clip Lewis.