Monday, September 28, 2009

Martinez Canyon


Once again family responsibilities got in the way of hiking aspirations. This morning my wife woke me with the news that my son, Harrison, was sick and would have to stay home from school today. That meant I would also be staying home. So instead of going to the Tram and hiking in the cool alpine air of Mount San Jacinto I had to wait until this afternoon and head out again to the desert.

Kahlua and I ended up heading out to Martinez Canyon. When I left home the temperature was 103ยบ. By the time we arrived at Martinez Canyon, after a fun Jeep ride up the wash, it was nice. A breeze came from the South and made for very comfortable, if not cool, hiking. We would not have much time but we had enough to get a taste of what this fantastic area has to offer.

A lot of the landscape here is green due to the rains that fell here a couple of weeks ago.

The Palo Verde has even taken to bloom as if it were spring.

I'd stopped short of the wilderness boundary, anxious to get out and hike. I really should have kept driving but the rains caused a great deal of erosion and the going was slow. When I got to this sign I regretted my impatience. I could have hiked further if I'd only driven further.

Time counted in hours, of course, is not enough to explore what is perhaps the wildest place in our local area. There is enough here to enjoy that it would be necessary to spend days, years or a lifetime to experience the fullness of it.

A fully clothed Ocotillo is one of the many plants in the canyon arrayed in their resplendent spring attire.

As the last light shines on the upper reaches of Rabbit Peak I have to head back and find where I parked my Jeep. This canyon is wide at its mouth and I could wander in the dark until dawn trying to locate it if I get there too late.

But I am impressed, as always, at the possibilities that await in this wild and rugged canyon.

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