It's been kinda cool in the desert the past week--with the high temperature hovering in the 60s--so I decided to take a little hike to warm up. I'll also need to warm up my hiking skills since they've been underutilized most of this year. I grabbed my son, Nikolas, and Johnnie, one of the neighbor kids, and headed south of La Quinta to go explore a canyon I'd seen on a previous hike.
From the parking area we have to hike about 3/4 of a mile to get to the canyon. We stay on the side of the canyon until the walls get too steep and then we drop into the sandy canyon bottom.
This place is a boy paradise. It's full of big rocks to clamber over and places to explore and hide. There are also no footprints so nobody comes up here.
There is no water in the canyon right now but I keep my eye out for certain plants that would indicate the presence of subsurface water. The only one I see is this single Palm Tree that has seen its better days.
Nikolas climbs to the top of a dry fall on the side of the canyon to see if there's any water up there but no luck. It's completely dry.
We get lucky just a little further up the canyon and find some water. It isn't much but in the desert this could be the difference between life and death.
We come to this dry fall further up the canyon and this makes a good turnaround spot. I don't feel comfortable having the boys going up this. Of course, they probably feel the same about me.
On the way out I take a little detour and discover an old Indian trail that leads to the canyon from the south. This is a very good sign that more water and perhaps some mesquite bushes may be further up the canyon because the Indians would not have come to this canyon for any other reason.
The trail is very well defined so in its day it definitely saw some traffic. I cannot wait to come back and explore a bit further. Who knows what I might find?
On the way back to the Jeep we stop off to examine this VW bus that someone left out here. Can you fix it, Dad? Nik wonders.
Johnnie decides to take it for a spin.
Some boulder hopping, a previously unknown Indian Trail, and an old beat up car are the prescription for the perfect boy adventure. The only thing missing is a treasure map. We'll have to save that for next time. But that's OK; I'm just warming up.