Friday, July 30, 2010

Here is a video from my hike yesterday at the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve- note- thank God for this cottonwood or I might not have made it.

This video was shot several minutes after I made it to this shade tree on the canyon trail.
My previous rest stop was a few minutes earlier, where I sat down under a desert creosote
if my memory is correct, at this point, I was extremely tired and over-heated, and really
beginning to think I might have to wait several hours till the sun went behind the canyon walls and it would cool down. Of course, by then, I would be out of water and in real danger.

However, a fifteen minute or so break, combined with the knowledge that I was only a mile
or so from the Morongomobile, gave me heart and a new determination to continue.

By the way, at the rest break right before this one, when I was really beat, a vulture flying
overhead judging by the large shadow, got me motivated enough to get up and shakily venture on.

Going back to this cottonwood tree, this is the one with the three rocks like footstools
underneath in the shade of those wonderful branches. When I passed it on my way down,
it did occur to me that I would really welcome the sight of it on my way back up the trail.
bigmorongocanyonhike 021

A trick to remember for those of you planning on doing a day hike in the desert or other wild
places. When you are on your return leg of the hike, sometimes when you are tired there
is a tendency among some to almost be overwhelmed by the journey back. I always break
the return trip down into little segments, small tasks to be completed, that add up to a
completed hike. For example, yesterday, okay I see the dead, giant cottonwood there that I got out of the sun last week by standing behind it, I’ll make it to there. Once I made it there,
okay let me make it to that bend in the trail about 200 yards away, etc, etc. It all adds up,
creates a sense of accomplishment and helps keep the fears away, that you might not make it.

As Inspector Callahan once said to Lt. Briggs,”a man has to know his limitations.” I learned that lesson on the canyon trail yesterday when I was walking the two miles uphill. I am just
not in good enough shape to hike in 100 + degree, full sun conditions. So the next hike for
me will probably be on the mountaintop via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, where if it
is 110 below, it is about 80 degrees up there. I am looking forward to it.

I will be putting together another trip report for this second hike at the Preserve, however it
may not be ready until my next days off. Tonight, believe it or not, I go in at 2145 that’s 9:45
at night, and work overnight until 0600 or 6 in the morning. First and hopefully the last time that I have to do it.

Enjoy the video, I hope this new video host service works out.



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