Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Outback Outhouse


This morning I was in a hurry to get out of the house and get my son to school. In my haste, I left my camera at home. If the pictures don't look as crisp as normal it is because they were shot on my phone. I hate when I do that but it couldn't be helped.

After dropping my son off at school, I drove over to Willis Palms near the San Andreas Fault. It is part of the Coachella Valley Nature Preserve and obviously someone doesn't like the fact that you cannot hunt there.

The way to make sure your signs stay nice is to put them a little further from the road.

Willis Palms is just a short hike from 1000 Palms Canyon Road. It's flat and a nice place to take the family. There are some options for other hikes in the area but today I just keep it simple. I don't have time for complicated today.

Inside the oasis, it's like you're walking in the jungle. I wish I'd brought a machete because the vegetation is thick in here.

There is plenty of surface water here so it's easy to see why the palms thrive in this location.

This sign has seen its better days.

Maybe they need to do a little restoration of the Habitat Restoration sign.

I get near the end of the trail and notice something up on the hill behind the oasis. It looks like a building of some sort.

It's an outhouse. There is a trail leading uphill from it and some home foundations. I guess they put it lower because a certain substance always flow downhill.

They've got the hole blocked off so no one can fall in. But if you've really gotta go, I guess it'd work in a pinch.

I follow the deep trench of a trail uphill, hoping I don't meet a rattler on my way. I'm still here so obviously I didn't.

You get a nice view of the oasis from the top.
There is also a view of what's left of some home foundations. This had to have been a terrific place to live. You have ample water (although no indoor plumbing, it seems), incredible views and cool breezes. At least on days like today.

My extra explorations put my a few minutes behind schedule and I have to run all the way back to my Jeep. Luckily, it's flat, like I said and the wind is at my back. I've really been taking advantage of this terrific weather we've been having in the desert and I hope it keeps on as long as possible. There are too many good places still left to explore before I'm driven to higher elevations. Plus, how many hikes have their own outhouse?

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