Hiking Palm Canyon on the Chumauga Res

10:54 a.m. on March 8, 2018 (EST)
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Last Saturday, I hiked the creek in Palm Canyon near Palm Springs.  It has been inhabited for at least 5,000 years, and contains the largest concentration of Washingtonia palms in the world.  My brother and I marvelled at the geography of such a place, and imagined aboriginal hunters climbing the hills in search of bighorn sheep and mule deer.  It was easy to make the spritiual connection and it is an example of my favorite kind of church.  Quite a contrast to the bubble of the resort like ambience of Palm Springs. Blessings to all of our Brothers and Sisters. 

8:22 a.m. on March 10, 2018 (EST)
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Sounds like a wonderful place and hike Ppine, especially contrasted by the nearby Palm Springs. I have a couple of favorite spots that are pretty unused but close to decent sized towns. When I am out for more than a day or so and really sink into the zone, as I call it, and there is a rough transition coming back out and seeing all that development. I hope the canyon stays peaceful so folks can get away and appreciate the real world...

9:27 a.m. on March 10, 2018 (EST)
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Thanks Phil. 

Las Vegas is another location with great hiking nearby. I have always wanted to do a short overnight at Red Rocks.

My whole career, the contrast between wild places and then a shower and a great dinner has always really appealed to me.  I like the back and forth.  Some people dream of the long through hike for weeks or months on end. I have never been interested in that.  It may be the those of us that have been out there for a living, have learned to really enjoy the return to civilization.

10:18 a.m. on March 10, 2018 (EST)
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We we're in Joshua Tree around the same time--checking out the oases of Lost Palms and 49 Palms, among other places.  It's the right time of the year for the desert!

10:39 a.m. on March 10, 2018 (EST)
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I waver back and forth on that transition Ppine - like you I have spent most of my career outdoors, and I too relish coming back and having a hot bath (my preference over a shower after working the legs in the hills) and a good meal.  However, once I get past about 2 nights of recreational backpacking without seeing many or any people, I find myself in a zone of peacefulness that results in a rougher transition back to "reality" as people like to call it (although I think reality is in the wilderness).  This gets worse the longer I am out.  Over about a week and I really need a day or more to transition back.

10:44 a.m. on March 11, 2018 (EDT)
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Right Phil.  Coming back from Burning Man we used to call it re-entry.  The easiest way for me to recover from longer trips is to stay home.  I can control the environment and I am surrounded by my loved ones. Yesterday five wild horses were loping past the south fence. 

There are many different psychological thresholds.  I have given these a lot of thought.  When I was in the field more than about 70% of the time I longed to be home. 

7:18 a.m. on March 12, 2018 (EDT)
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So I do crave a nice meal when I return a hot shower and seeing my friends...Oh added bonus my bed LOL But on month long trips I don't think about home at all...

12:47 p.m. on March 12, 2018 (EDT)
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It is a good time of year for the desert. We just got back from a weekend in Organ Pipe NM. I summited Mt. Ajo on Sat, on Sun we hiked out to one of the old mines and I ran some of the old mine roads, then drove around to check out Senita Basin. In addition to organ pipe and senita cacti, we found our way to a large-ish (for north of Mexico) elephant tree that a ranger gave us the beta on. It took some searching for me to ID arrow poison plant (Sebastiana bilocularis), a euphorb shrub and relative of the Mexcian jumping bean, that I saw a lot of but wasn't in any of my field guides -- like the cacti at its northern limit in OPNM. Ocotillos, globemallows, chuparosa all coming into bloom despite the dry winter. No palms, though, have to go a bit further west for them. Really looking forward to the coming weeks as more perennials come into bloom, even though the winter annuals are a complete bust.

It actually rained on Saturday afternoon, fairly continuous but very light for a few hours. The campground has solar-heated showers, but with the clouds and rain I had to take a cold one. Still felt good.

8:50 a.m. on March 13, 2018 (EDT)
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Time is near for my annual spring jaunt in Josh.  I visit there more than any other place, more than 50 times since 1977.  I have a nice little spot NO ONE visits where I dry camp.  It is like having the entire park to myself.  It also has some of the best vistas in the park.

Ed

10:12 a.m. on March 13, 2018 (EDT)
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I have GOT to make time to get back out to the desert...I can find mountains and vistas and forests and valleys closer to home to satisfy my craving for landscape but a walk through the desert is difficult to simulate elsewhere!

3:14 p.m. on March 14, 2018 (EDT)
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Good thoughts on why the desert is a special place. 

I had dinner this week with some close friends.  The lady is not much of a camper although I have been on some great trips with the husband.  They went to Death Valley with some friends that brought RVs to boon dock with . My friends stayed at the Furnace Creek Inn and spent an unbelievalbe $899 for three nights.  They did some day hikes and had a good time. 

They could not get the idea of slipping into the desert with no one around at night and enjoying the quiet. It is the best part.  It is cooler, the wildlife comes out and the Milky Way comes out. The wild donkeys are braying, and the coyotes are singing.

Those of those that really enjoy the wild places, need to be thankful that we are a small minority of the poplulation which leaves us plenty of room to wander. 

June 19, 2018
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