DAY TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY SIX
The vast majority of my hikes I do alone. I like hiking by myself because I can travel at my own pace, change my destination on a whim, not worry about making conversation. On occasion I've gone with a friend or two and sometimes I've taken some kids along but tonight was a different thing entirely.
I had someone contact me about a group going out on a moonlight hike and he asked me if I'd like to come along. He was leading a group of hikers coordinated over the internet on the meetup.com website. I'd never done anything like that so I thought it might be fun for a change.
The group, The Palm Springs and Inland Empire Hiking Group was meeting behind the Target in Palm Desert and doing the Bump and Grind Trail similar to what I'd done last month. I wasn't able to make their actual meeting time so I showed up as soon as I could.
By the time I arrived almost an hour after the group started, they were well on their way up the trail.
And the moon was already on the rise.
Of course with the moon coming up so high on this cloudless night I'd have no problem seeing my way and I was able to leave my headlamp in my backpack and depend entirely on moonlight.
But the group left a little glow stick at the trail junction just in case.
It's a good thing, too. If someone were coming late who didn't know their way, they may have ended up going to wrong direction and found themselves at the Palm Desert Cross instead.
Tonight was quite humid for here, somewhere in the 30% range. The tropical moisture from Tropical Storm Jimena has not brought any rain but it's certainly brought some stickiness. I made my way up the trail and caught up to the group at the top of Bump and Grind.
Everyone was standing on the edge of the plateau enjoying the view of the lights below.
It was a very good sized group for a Thursday night. They'd considered doing Friday but since the group is based in Riverside they didn't want to fight Friday night traffic coming out here and who could blame them?
After enjoying the view and conversation, the group headed down the road section back to the parking area. It's always nice to meet other people who enjoy hiking and if you're looking for a group to go out with you should check it out. And if hiking in the moonlight sounds like fun, Friday is the true Full Moon.