Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ranch of the Seventh Range


I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to the cooler days of Fall. While desert dwellers love the stark beauty of our harsh environment and would not trade it for all the mountains, beaches and plains on earth, we do grow weary of the infernal heat of summer. While it keeps the year round population of our area from becoming like that of Los Angeles it also limits my ability to explore beyond the few hours on the fringes of daylight. Thankfully, it will soon be coming to an end.

I had several ideas on where to go hiking today. I thought about going to the Tram, back to the Mecca Hills, to Joshua Tree. Ultimately I did not feel like driving to any of those spots and went over near Lake Cahuilla to hike near the site of the old horse stable, The Ranch of the Seventh Range.

The rocks here tell the story of water, when the ancient Lake Cahuilla filled the entire southern region of the Coachella Valley with a lake that was 27 times larger than the Salton Sea.

There are a few trails but mostly the area is open desert behind this flood control berm.

Or at least it was. There a now several reservoirs behind this chain link fence. It is part of a groundwater recharge facility intended to pump water back into the ground to replenish the aquifer which lies under the desert. We are, in a sense, lucky that our water is underground. Were it not Los Angeles might have stolen it like they did the water of the Owens Valley.

The sun leaves me alone with the stillness of the open desert and the unusual sound of water.

Wanting to see more of the recharge station I decide to climb up this little hill.

The recharge station spreads out across the desert.

For some reason I am now suddenly very thirsty.

Looking out toward the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National Monument I look forward to the coming cooler days when I will be able to explore here more greatly. Tonight, however, I have to get home to watch the Ken Burn's special on the National Parks.

For some reason I have always been drawn to these twin mountains. On some cooler day in the future I will climb these. I'll let you know what's up there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I used to work in this area when there was a "dude ranch" here. Fall, winter and spring was the time of year that we operated. This was a great area for a stables with the rich history great weather most times of the year.

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