Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Crazy Ridge, Indio Hills


The Indio Hills are along the San Andreas Fault and contain several palm oases, sandy washes and rocky ridges. Today I choose to explore one of the rocky ridges and regretted it almost from the moment I left my Jeep. The ridge was rocky, steep, hard and loose, really ugly.

Thankfully, the beauty of the setting sun helped make up for the unsure footing of the ridge I, for some reason, decided to climb.

Doesn't this look like great hiking terrain?

Part way up I look down and see this rock pile that someone made up here. Why? I have no idea.

Higher up I am able to see this water tank that is hidden from view unless you climb up here. I hope the water drawn from this well doesn't adversely affect the nearby palm oases.

Oddly enough I find the remnants of a faint trail along the ridge. What kind of lunatic would hike up here? Besides me, of course.

I get to the top and there's not much to see. Gee, I'm glad I made the effort.

I, at least, am able to look out upon what is probably the last large expanse of undeveloped desert in the Coachella Valley.

With the sun now behind Mount San Jacinto I need to get down. There is no way I want to go down this thing at night. It's like walking on ball bearings.

Part way down I come upon this little shrine. I totally missed it on the way up even though I passed within six feet of it. I was too busy concentrating on not falling. I don't know what this could be a shrine to, probably insanity.

Coming down this ridge to check out the rock pile I think about scooching down the hill but a voice in my head says, "Men do not scooch. You are not a worm ridden poodle on a carpet". I don't know if that was the voice of reason, testosterone or utter folly talking but I listened to it. Thankfully, I didn't fall and bruise my butt.

I get to this pile of rocks and find out that it's not manmade like I thought it was. It's a natural occurrence, the product of uplifting and erosion, very weird. The landscape around these hills is very strange and potentially dangerous but I made it back in one piece. I doubt I'll be back. Whaddaya think I am? Crazy?

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