DAY SEVENTY NINE
Today is the day of the Vernal Equinox. the first day of Spring. From now until Summer, the days will be getting longer and the weather warmer. The seasons in the desert are different than the rest of the world because most places look forward to spring as a harbinger to summer. Here, we see it as a transition out of our perfect winter weather into our season of perdition. While the weather is still not the hellacious blast furnace of June, July and August, it can get warm during the next couple of months and today was one of those days, over 90º.
I decided to that on the first day of Spring I'd do the hike that I did on the first day of the year. I just didn't do it at sunrise this time. Who really wants to get up that early? I already did it once this year.
To get to the trailhead to the Palm Desert Cross, take Hwy 74 a little over a mile from Hwy 111 and turn right on Frontage Road. Take a quick left on Thrush. Then, follow Thrush until you go over a little bridge.
Once over the bridge, you will see this sign. Turn right and park in one of the two parking areas.
From there, the Homestead Trail is quite obvious.
There's a little picnic area with a palm frond topped shade structure. There is also water available here.
There is another picnic table just up the first part of the trail, currently without a shade structure. Someone torched it and the city has yet to replace it with a new one. Hopefully, they'll make the new one out of a non-combustible material.
This is one of the few remaining trails where you can bring your dog along. They have to be leashed at this point but I think that's mainly to help pull you up the hill.
You notice a stark difference between the North and South facing slopes in this area. The slopes which receive direct sunlight seems almost devoid of life while those with less direct sun are full of green plants and flowers.
From the cross, you can look up to Santa Rosa Mountain, the place I hiked yesterday.
The cross is guyed down with cable and has a camera to prevent vandalism. Maybe they could try one of those cameras by the palm frond structure. Then the pyros won't be so tempted.
The hike to the cross is a nice little climb that offers great views. It's easy to access and has plenty of parking. Bring the family, bring the dog and bring a picnic lunch. If you haven't hiked the Palm Desert trails, now is the time to go because before you know it, summer will be here and even this short hike will seem like eternity.
And not eternity in a good place.