We try to go on a hike on Sunday mornings and today was a good one. Here in Palm Desert the mountains seem to come right down to the road, so it's not hard to find a hiking trail near home. The trails nearest us are very popular this time of year and get pretty crowded, so we usually go a little farther afield. This morning we drove about 20 minutes away to the place I call my favorite hike. You just park and pretty much start walking uphill, then decide whether to continue on a road to the top, or veer off in another direction onto a smaller trail.
Today we decided to go check out a new dam that was being built during the last couple of years and is finished now. It was quite a project and now protects the main highway between all of the little cities here (Hwy 111) from washing out every time there's significant rain.
We struck out to the left and went around the side of the hill until we arrived at a vantage point above the dam. Then we decided to see if we could get down into the riverbed itself and walk back that way, climbing back up eventually. The dam is in the center behind me.
It was a bit of an adventure. First, the desert was in bloom such that I've never seen before in this area. I've hiked in Utah in the red rock desert and there are always flowers and plants along the trails. Here, all you see usually is rocks and sand. Not the most picturesque landscape. We've had some rain this winter, and it was wonderful to see all the green and other colors.
We walked quite awhile over the rocks (large and small) in the riverbed, looking for an oasis of palm trees that DH had seen previously. All the way, we looked up at the high ridges overhead and the lack of obvious trails. We're not rock climbers and it's been quite awhile since we've seen our 20s (or even 40s), so I was getting a little worried. Just when we were about to turn back and retrace our steps, we found a little rock pile marking a trail up. It was fairly steep but had enough switchbacks that it wasn't impossible to ascend.
I was annoyed to see this beautiful fountain grass blooming just beautifully out here in the middle of nowhere. :) I've been trying to grow it in a pot for about three years, and my version is sadly lacking.
It's probably about time for me to give up and move on to something else!
All in all, it was a fun morning. My phone app said that I'd gone 8217 steps, 3.4 miles, and climbed 29 floors. It felt like we had earned our brunch of cinnamon french toast, bacon, and cantaloupe.