Monday, February 16, 2009

Rain, rain, go away!

Day Forty Seven
The desert is a hiker's paradise.  There is a nearly endless variety of hikes to do; there are fascinating creatures, plants and geology.  It's also sunny almost every day.  Almost.

For the second Monday in a row I planned a trip to Joshua Tree and, for the second Monday in a row, I got rained out.  Personally, I don't mind hiking in the rain.  It's a fun experience for a desert guy but today is President's Day and I have kid duty.  My boys were not thrilled with the idea of getting drenched on a Dad Death March.  Fortunately, my brother offers to watch the guys for a couple of hours.  All I have to do is buy him lunch.

1000 Palms is close and, unlike Joshua Tree, has no possibility of snowfall.  That's where I'll be hiking today.

I start hiking and am quickly overcome by jealousy.  I really wish I had one of these snazzy hiking umbrellas.

No fires of any kind are permitted in the oasis area.

It's easy to see why.

I  hike through the palms enjoying the protection from the rain they provide.

I decide to hike the Smoke Tree Ranch Trail.  That is one trail I've never done.

There are all these great signs around telling visitors about all the various plants that are native to the palm oasis and the surrounding ecosystem.

Walking the Smoke Tree Ranch Trail I find one plant conspicuously absent.  The Smoke Tree.

Above the oasis, there is a cross on the top of a little hill.

But I won't be going up there today.

Leaving I see this sign pointing me to four other oases that I have to visit.  I'll wait until a sunny day to go to those, though.  Right now I've got to pick up my kids and go to In-n-Out Burger.  It's time to pay my brother for babysitting.

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