Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Again


April is the cruelest month, wrote T. S. Eliot but in the desert I think September is. It is cruel because it's a tease. You expect that once August is over the weather will be turning the corner and getting cooler but that doesn't happen. It's still in the hundreds and there's no sign of it getting much cooler for weeks. But will I let that stop me? I love heat, I tell myself. Consider the alternative: if I still lived in Orange County, where I grew up, I'd be faced with constant traffic day after day. Give me a few months of heat.

My work schedule required me to go in at a weird time and then getting off later than I wanted to hike. This made it necessary to hike during the heat of the day but that's OK. At least I don't have to walk in the wind, rain and snow like people in other parts of the country. And it's a dry heat, like an oven.

I think the city needs to get its money back from these signs. The map is essentially useless and the plastic covering the signs is already getting ruined by the elements. Whoever designed this sign probably designs things for model homes and country clubs, not trails.

Although there is no shade to be found I make my way up the Bear Creek Wash. Instead of following the wash either on the right or the left I decide to go up the hill on the left of the wash and follow the bank instead. It turns out to be a good decision. Walking in sand is not what I wanted to do and a trail has been created from people feeling the same way. In the almost 25 years that I've lived and hiked here I've almost always followed the wash. I don't know if I will ever again.

The trail is not as visible the entire way. After these rocks it gets pretty faint but reemerges after a bit of hiking across the open desert.

After a while the trail drops steeply into the wash near the point where the Bear Creek Palms Trail leaves it on the other side.

There is a newer trail sign in place of the sign that used to tell you not to hike during certain months due to the Bighorn Sheep. Hopefully more of those stupid signs will start to disappear.

Looking across to the hill on the other side of the wash it looks like there might be a trail on the hillside. I'm short on time but I've got to check it out.

Do I want to climb this steep, loose, rocky hillside? You bet I do!

It looks like there is the beginning of a trail here. I will have to come back and see if it continues and if, as I hope, I can make a loop around to the Boo Hoff Trail. It would be nice to have yet another new trail up here. But I'm out of time and have to run over a mile in 100+ degree heat. Cooler days are coming and the desert will be a different place; it's just not there yet. It's like spring elsewhere, better days are just around the corner.

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