Secrets of the PCT: Pinyon Point

This doesn’t look like much, does it?

[image to come]

This is a section of the Pacific Crest Trailsection F, heading north through the Mojave Desert.

Let me say I grew up far away from the desert and never thought I liked its lack of trees and aridity, but well, maybe I should have known better. Should have listened to my elders. For example:

the mother tree (perhaps) at Pinyon Point on a ridge overlooking the Mojave Desert, along the Pacific Crest Trail

This is a sort of plaza, at about six thousand feet, overlooking the vastest desert in Southern California. This area, which I’m calling Pinyon Point, although not large has several sites in which to roll out a pad in beauty and serenity (and perhaps wind, for at its height, it does experience weather — perhaps because it’s a ridgetop outcropping that catches rain and snow, the pinyon pines grow well there).

Yet it’s all but unused. I made a fire there a year and a half ago, after a snowfall, and near as I can tell, the campfire hasn’t been used since. I confess I kind of like it that way, so I’m not going to reveal the exact location, although readers who would like to know can write me, and I’ll probably tell.

I was rolling up my tent this past Sunday, and heard a pair of PCT walkers stop and chat on the other side of a rock, not fifty feet away, and yet completely oblivious of my presence.

Let me show you a little more —

[image to come]

Yet it’s not Half Dome, or Puget Sound, or Hanalei Bay, or the London Bridge. Is it?

Am I deluding myself? Maybe it doesn’t look like much at all. It’s hard to judge the places one discovers. Still something about this site, which I’m calling Pinyon Point, is to be known and loved. Something here brings a person closer to everything at once. 

Saturday afternoon I took a nap in the warm sun and the edgy wind, and while half-asleep heard a bird I’ve never heard before. Wasn’t a song. Wasn’t even a call. Closer to an avian bleat. Couldn’t see, can’t imagine the species.

The breeze kept up, and so I just had to try and put it down in words:

listen to the wind
always blowing in
so strong
so chill

[post updated 9/25/21]

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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