DAY ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY FIVE
South of La Quinta is an area that not many people go to and I like that. The northern slope of Martinez Mountain is rocky and barren and has no trails to attract a hiker but I have a hunch that there has to be an Indian Trail, or a network of them, on this part of the mountain. Once the temperature cools down--today's high was 116ºF--I plan to really explore here. Today was just scouting a hunch.
I know Cahuilla Indians lived in La Quinta and the area just south of it. They also traveled about on a bunch of trails, many of which we hike on today. I figured when the temperatures got really hot they would have to move up to higher elevations and the closest higher elevation is Martinez Mountain.
As I scan the landscape, this hill of rocks stands out from the surrounding terrain. It makes sense to me that a trail might go near here. Since it stands out it would be easy to find for a traveler to find from miles away.
It turns out to be a good guess because I find a trail on the ridge right near the rock pile.
I'll follow it as long as I have light. It's pretty faint but the ground here is not as rocky as some areas that seem to hold trails forever.
There are a number of rock monuments like this one, though. It gives me hope and makes me think that I'm onto something here.
I head up the ridge and while the trail is not longer obvious going this way, the view is great. You can also see that big rock pile from up here which will be good if I forget how to get back to my Jeep.
The ridge continues to head up toward Martinez Mountain but I think heading for these two peaks might be a good idea. They are another distinct point that are visible from throughout La Quinta and Aqua Alta Spring is on the other side of them. The spring would be an obvious place for the Indians to travel, too. Of course, they are a few thousand feet above me so I'll have to save that until the fall when the weather is about 35º cooler.