Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The recent hike up at Big Morongo Canyon Nature Preserve…

Sure seems a lot easier when you make it with company.

Longtime readers will remember a post that I did last year where I went to the
preserve and met Randy who gave me some good tips on hiking there. This
time I remembered to email him and see if he could join me and we ended up
hiking all the way down to the big gnarly cottonwood tree and coming back up
the trail, where we ran into Jim from the San Fernando Valley who had emailed
me for info on the preserve, but was unable due to previous commitments, to
be there at the start of the hike, but did make it in time to catch us on the trail where we talked for a few minutes before heading on to our respective destinations. Here is a photo I took of Jim and Randy talking.
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Randy and I took a break in the shade here and that was where Jim met us. By the way, I was the one that
needed the break from the sun. Randy and Jim looked like they were ready to go another 20 miles while
I  was ready to call 911 and get hauled out Winking smile. Jim is a musician and was playing a gig in the area later.

Before I forget, I just want to say that Randy and Jim were two of the nicest guys you could ever meet and I hope to meet up with them again out on a trail somewhere. Randy has a lot of outdoor knowledge and experience, and I am
sure Jim does as well, I remember he said he hikes in the Santa Monica mountains, I was the neophyte of this group, for sure.

For some reason, I am having writer’s block issues again, so let my photos and videos of the day do the work for a while. These are not in any chronological order.
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Such beauty springing forth from such a precarious perch on the hillside.
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A profusion of blooms.
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I really like the above picture, it just makes me smile.
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The red-tailed hawk chicks were in no mood to humor me by making an appearance for this photo.
They were at least 30-40 feet up there from the ground.
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The algae growth only took a week or so, this is the TRAIL down approaching Senor Cottonwood.
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This is a fruit from one of the desert plants near Senor Cottonwood. Randy knows a lot about
these plants and the animals here, it was a real benefit to me to hike with him and learn so much!
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Randy took this photo and pointed out to me that the white object a little to the right from the 4 “spikes” of
vegetation near the middle top of the hill, might be a bighorn bedded down. No way to tell as my camera that I took
with me, the digicam, is unable to zoom in more than this. I was amazed at the things that Randy spotted, way before me!
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The above flowers were at the shady spot on the trail where we met up with Jim.
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Close up of a dead cottonwood “soldier” guarding the trail. What caused those sharp and tough
thorn like growths under the bark? Randy thought it might have been insects, I think he said.

Just below the wooden fence and where I saw deer one time.

From under the tree, a needed break from the sun.

The above can is not Arnold Palmer because the 3 stores in Morongo Valley
that I went to were all sold out of it. This tasted pretty good also and definitely
hit the spot!

Bonus video, the drive into the preserve, or how to find the entrance.

Don’t want you guys to get lost!

Alright folks, my writer’s block ain’t easing up any and my battery is dying
so I am outta here!