Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Third Time's A Charm

Has it really been three months?

Two times this year I have set out on the Boo Hoff Trail from the top of the La Quinta Cove and two times I have failed to reach the top. It was not that the trail is too hard; I just ran out of time. Today I did something different. Instead of starting in the morning and having to leave because of work, I decided to start in the afternoon, after work. The only thing that could stop me is darkness but don't worry. I brought a flashlight; my wife insisted. Today, the top is going to be reached.

Starting at the trailhead I walk up toward the Boo Hoff. The landscape is decidedly different than it was a couple of weeks ago. There are very few flowers and most everything has turned brown. No need for photos here. I always wonder why they put these signs on all the hiking trails out here. Maybe I'll call the Water District and ask. Or maybe not.

I quickly head for a small ridge to the right of the wash. It's just a bit rocky but it sure beats walking uphill in the sand.

Ah, my old friend. I will not be deterred this time.

On the way up, I see a lot of these big scary bugs, the Master Blister Beetle, Lytta magister. They're huge and they FLY. I can't really get a good picture because they won't stop moving and I'm afraid one of them is going to fly up my shorts.

This is a cool plant. I looked through almost 2000 plant pictures and I still don't know what it is called. I'm sure someone out there does. If not, I'll find out next time I go to the Living Desert.

As you climb, you get a good view of Mount San Gorgonio in the hazy distance.

Close to the top, you enter the wilderness although it's felt like wilderness almost from the moment I left the Jeep.

I get to this sign at the start of the Guadalupe Trail. Check out the dates on this sign. They should probably change it to read, TURN AROUND HERE! IF YOU'RE HIKING THIS TRAIL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SUMMER, YOU ARE GOING TO DIE. NO ONE WILL FIND YOU UNTIL FALL. GO BACK NOW AND LIVE. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?

From the top of the trail, you can look down to the Martinez Landslide and the Salton Sea. Notice the water line from the ancient Lake Cahuilla on the hillside beyond the landslide.

You can also look up into the canyon where the Guadalupe Trail goes. This is one of my favorite trails. Hopefully, I'll get time to do it before July 1.

Looking down from where I came I'm happy I finally made it to the top of the Boo Hoff. I've got to get back before dark, though, because as I reach in the pack for a water bottle, I realize I left the flashlight on the front seat of the Jeep. Good thing I wore my running shoes.


Anonymous said...

Enjoying your hikes vicariously. By the way, your plant is some sort of Dudleya species.

Hal Summers said...

Thanks for the tip. Anon. I'll have to start looking.