Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hidden In Plain Sight


With work and kids taking most of my time, my dream of traveling around the country and doing hikes in America's most beautiful places has been put on hold. Probably forever. Oh well. At least I live in a place with seemingly unending options for place to hike.

I headed up to the top of the La Quinta Cove, a place I've hiked about a half a million times this year so far.

This trail up to the Bear Creek Oasis is widely traveled. When I first moved to La Quinta over twenty years ago very few people hiked back here. Of course, that was because you could drive your 4WD most of the way back into the wash so what was the point of walking?

As I hit the wash I take an immediate right turn and head to a wash heading up toward Coyote Mountain. Since I almost always have headed straight up the wash, I have never hiked up this canyon. This is yet another first for me.

The canyon gets narrow and rocky fairly quickly. Up beyond are steep cliffs and canyons. I wonder how far I can actually get.

There are some very deep clefts in the mountain that may possibly house tinajas, tanks that hold water for months.

But it looks like I maybe not be able to get too much further due to dry falls and loose rocks.

This dry fall may be passable but I'm not going to try it alone just in case I fall. No one knows where I am and it's getting warm. If I fall off and break my leg I don't want to sit here and bake. I'll have to come back and try another time.

There is another canyon that may also be passable and which will also have to wait for another day. Maybe later in the year if we have some summer rainstorms I'd like to come up here and see if I can find some water holes.

Standing deep in the canyon I hear a shrieking overhead. Two Red Tail hawks circle around the steep cliffs above. I imagine they probably have a nest way up on the mountainside. They are too high, however, for me to get a good picture of them so I just sit back and enjoy their aerial dance. The canyon is not far from the main trail but it seems far away. I hike back on the upper ridges above the canyon hoping to find a trail but I don't have any luck with that. If Indians came up here they followed the canyon itself. I'll have to come and explore further to see if I can find any evidence of that possibility.

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