Sunday, December 27, 2009

Macomber Palms Ridge at Sunrise

DAY THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY ONE

My work schedule required that I go out hiking before the sunrise. For some people this is the best part of the day. I, however, have retained my sanity and realize that God intended these hours for sleeping. Some days a little insanity is required and today was such a day. I set my alarm for 6 and rose while it was still dark. When the alarm went off I wondered if I'd died and gone to hell. I drove over to the Indio Hills and decided to do a little hike I last attempted in the summer. This is the location I encountered my one rattlesnake that I encountered this year. Rattlers shouldn't be a problem since the temperature was in the 30s.

The trails are very eroded in this area so I tried to access the ridge from the bottom but ran into a little problem.

At this point there's nowhere to go but up.

The sun has not yet crested the horizon but it is light enough to see. I was afraid that I'd have to spend part of this hike in the dark and I did enough of that last night.

Looking back toward Mount San Jacinto I can see that the sun has reached some portions of a valley. It is still and cool and I wish I were back in bed.

Finally, the sun decided to make an appearance and I start to feel it's actually OK to be awake.

The light hasn't filtered down to the canyon where I parked my Jeep but most of the area is starting to wake up.

At one time there was a very good trail here. I wonder who made it and why. There are sections of severe erosion but most of the trail is in superb shape. With just a little work, it could be usable for others besides me.

Up on the hilltop someone has built a little campsite. There are certainly better campsites around but if you're looking for solitude, nice views and no chance of starting a forest fire then this might just be the place for you.

Here's a section of the incredible erosion on this trail. It may look like the trail goes down to the left but it doesn't. It actually continues straight.

The light has finally touched to top of the palms and it's time to go home and get ready for work. I've already done my hike and haven't even had a cup of coffee. Maybe I have lost my sanity. That's OK. It's only temporary. Tomorrow, I'm sleeping in.