DAY ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY SIX
Sticking close to home I went to a place I've been quite a few times this year: The Coachella Valley Preserve. Today, though, was quite different than any other time I'd been so far this year.
The first thing I noticed is that there were no cars in the parking lot. None! This is the first time I've ever been to the Preserve when I had it all to myself.
The next thing I noticed is that the mesquite were in full fruition. The mesquite pods were long and green and almost ready of harvest. I'd like to see how these taste since they were a food staple of the Cahuilla Indians.
Finally, I noticed that the place is closed down tight. No wonder there are no cars here; there's no one to greet visitors. I don't mind that because I do my own thing anyway but sometimes it's nice to have company.
Not only is the Visitor's Center closed but the McCallum Grove, my favorite short hike, is also closed. I don't know what type of work would require four months to complete but let's hope they don't try to turn it into Disneyland. Just keep it simple.
While they're doing summer maintenance I hope they do a little trimming since the reeds are already starting to take over this walkway.
Finishing the walkway would also be nice. This project started several months ago and it looks like it's on hold. I don't know but maybe they should finish this before starting on the pond. The pond seemed OK last time I was there.
A little trimming around the trail would be good, too. Maybe I can bring loppers next month when I come.
Well, the pond is definitely closed and there a couple of trucks with workers there.
I decide to go to the vista point instead. I can't go to the grove but at least I can check it out from above.
On the way back I see the unmistakable track of a Sidewinder. I pay very close attention to every step from here on out. I definitely don't want to accidentally step on this guy.
Although I don't see another soul on this hike, I see enough critters out on the trail so I know I'm certainly not alone. It's only the tourists who leave in the summer; we locals are still around.