Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Taste of Summer


Today the high temperature in Indian Wells, where I work, was 112º. That's right. One Hundred and TWELVE.

Although I have lived in the desert for almost twenty-five years, I still do not like the heat. In fact, I hate summer. Maybe that's part of the reason I head for the mountains every chance I get.

Since I didn't have time to make it to the mountains, I headed up as high as I could get in the short time. I went to the Art Smith Trail.

The parking for the Art Smith Trail is at about 1000 feet. That's five degrees cooler than on the valley floor and it makes a huge difference. The temperature here is actually under a hundred. It makes me wonder if I have a parka with me.

One nice thing about having a National Monument is that they make really nice signs for it.

As I head up the trail, I think back to the last time I hiked here and how the trail was lined with wildflowers. That is not the case now.

The only flowers are a few remaining creosote flowers and a bunch of puffballs.

At the trail junction, I turn right. I don't know where this trail goes so I'll find out.

In addition to some close up views of the Bighorn Club, you get a close-up view of this very poorly disguised water tank. Did they actually pay someone to do that?

I guess this trail is called the Canyon Trail although it's not really in a canyon that I can tell.

You turn left at the original Schey Trail to get back on the Art Smith.

It's not long until you get to that trail and make a left to get back to your car.

From the trail, you can look down on Hwy 74 and cars zipping by heading to the desert with their A/C on high.

I'm actually surprised by how pleasant the temperature is. As I head back to the Jeep, I notice that I am bone dry even though I've hiked a good distance and climbed several times. There is a nice breeze blowing up the hill and I hear the hoot of an owl. There is a certain peacefulness that makes me stop and relish this moment. I imagine the outside temperature is 98.6º, perfectly matching my own body. It no longer feels hot. It's perfect.

Maybe this summer won't be so bad after all.

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