Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Indian This and Palms That

Day Fifty Six

It seems almost everything out here has the term Indian or Palms in it. OK, you can probably add the terms desert, spring, oasis, valley or canyon to cover everything. Considering that, I went on the perfect desert hike today. It was the Indian Palms Oasis. It is in a little canyon fed by a spring on the North side of the valley.

You leave from the parking lot of the 1000 Palms Oasis. Today that lot was filled with cars from places much colder then here. Oregon, Washington, Canada, Iowa and New York were all represented. A few Californians were even there. They were probably from up North.

It's very easy to get to the Indian Palm Oasis. Just follow the signs.

I didn't see any evidence of Indian inhabitation like metates, arrowheads, bedrock mortars or casinos but it's easy to see why Indians may have used this area. Mesquite was a staple of the Cahuilla diet about a hundred years ago and there is a lot of it growing here.

Here is a beautiful full skirted Washingtonian filifera, California Fan Palm. Mesquite and palms are both indicators that water is just below the surface. Both require constant water to survive, especially the palm trees, which have shallow roots.

Here are some not so beautiful headless palms.

I found a lot of evidence of more recent inhabitation and some historical litter. That's a fancy name for old junk left by someone a long time ago.

If you're looking for an easy, nice hike to take someone visiting from another state or country, the Indian Palm Oasis, shown with Mount San Jacinto in the background, just might be a perfect choice.

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