At long last, I got the energy to drive the two hours out to Morongo Valley and do a hike
at the Big Morongo Canyon Nature Preserve. The weather report was for sun and around 90 degrees F,
perfect for a 5 mile round trip visit down and back to the Hangman’s tree, or Senor Cottonwood.
This is a 100 plus year old gnarly tree that stands next to a wash where boulders and rocks are scattered
and in some cases are intertwined with the roots of the tree. It also sits right next to the dirt road used to service the gas pipeline that runs up through the nature preserve and Area of Critical Environmental Concern. In fact a year or so ago, they added a ‘lay down area” nearby, hopefully they will never have to do anything to this tree or ‘accidentally” damage it in any way.
As reported here recently, I have been on a diet and exercise kick due to my being found out as a pre diabetic, losing 45 pounds since April 15th, and the purpose of this trip and hike was to be like a ‘shakedown’ in order to see how less weight has affected my overall condition.
I am pleased to say that I made it back but did come back with tired and sore shins, ankles and my right knee. About what you would expect after not hiking in months and wearing old sneakers and not hiking shoes. My new sunhat was great though.
I went with only one liter of water and ran out just as I walked back into the parking lot. That is cutting it close.
Here is a photo of my trip destination.
Coming back up the canyon, I had to take another rest break under a different cottonwood tree which had even
more shade and rocks as stools. Here is a self portrait under the tree of the Morongobill. Sorry I took my new hat off
to expose the dome to the cooling breeze.
While resting down at the Hangman tree, I recorded several voice notes about the hike.
Once I figure out how to work them into blogger and Windows Live Writer, I will edit this post
and add them here. One was about turning young people onto this tree and its’ history.
And that this tree is worthy of living out its’ days without disturbance.
P.S. I am taking a few days in a couple of weeks for a desert trip and plan on visiting the Castle Peaks area
of the Mojave National Preserve. So I will have photos and a trip report up sometime during the 15-18th of September.