DAY NINETY SIX
Mondays are typically one of my days off. They allow me to take longer hikes, further away from home. Today was an exception. I had a couple of appointments that I will tell you about later because I don't want to spoil the surprise. Instead of a more difficult hike, I did a nice easy one. It's a good thing, too. I'm in agony.
At work, we went to new uniforms and I got a brand spanking new pair of shorts yesterday, a pair of shorts with the consistency of iron. I got chafed mercilessly and nothing makes it feel better. I've tried soaking, Bag Balm®, Desitin® and Neosporin®. If you know of any secret remedies for chafing (aka, Monkey Butt) let me know. I've got to go hiking tomorrow.
For my hike today, I went with someone to the Coachella Valley Preserve and we hiked out to the McCallum Palms. This is probably one of the top three easier hikes in the desert. Along with Andreas Canyon in the Indian Canyons and Dead Indian Palms (when it is open in the fall months) in Palm Desert, it is a hike that you can do with kids and newcomers and not worry about overdoing it.
The parking lot at the Preserve was packed. I have seen this lot full before but never this full. On the trail to the oasis, I passed probably twenty people, by far the most people I've seen on this trail. At the oasis, there was a group learning about the Preserve, its history and geology.
The pond at the McCallum Grove is something out of a movie. A palm lined body of water out in the middle of the barren desert. If you didn't know it was naturally occurring, you'd swear that someone built it.
There were lots of lizards out today but before I could get many pictures, they scurried under rocks or into bushes. This Zebra-tailed Lizard, Callisaurus draconoides, was kind enough to pose for me. Everything else was just too fast or maybe today I was just moving a little bit too slow.
I've got a big hike planned for Saturday and I want to be in perfect shape for it so this week I will probably be taking a couple of easier hikes until my, uh, condition clears up. That's OK, though, even an easy hike beats being at work, especially since I can choose my own shorts.