Friday, October 10, 2008

Our boss, Ginny and Louise
Louise exiting Hidden Palms
The road to Horseshoe Palms
Near the top of the ridge
Horsehoe Palms from the ridgetop
Lizard molting

Hidden Palms (other end)
Hidden Palms
Hidden Palms
Hidden Palms
Ok, Ok so we posted more palms. The reason is to show how diverse the palm oasis can be. The palms usually grow along a sandy/stony wash, as this one does, but other bushes grow here too. There was a fire in Hidden Palms, so it is more open. In the pic of me walking down the road, look at the hill running from the base of the palms to the top. The pic of me near the top was taken on a footpath there, as was the view of the palms from the top. We visited these two oases today, on a 2 1/2 hr. hike. There was a cool west wind that kept us from overheating. Unfortunately that wind also brought in a lot of haze so the views weren't clear. The pic of Ginny and me was taken Wed. We were the lizard hunting crew for Tues and Wed. We were all sighters, Ginny was catcher, Duane photographer, and I was recorder and trash picker. The trash usually consists of cans and bottles (mostly beer) that people are too lazy to pack out with them. The rest of today will be business as usual. Duane will man the visitors' center while I work on embroidery and keep an eye on the parking lot for a couple of reasons. I make sure people don't get confused and wander into our living area (the trail to the center goes right past us), and I head for the center to help out if we get a lot of visitors at one time.
Basta por hoy (enough for now)! Louise and Duane

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Drive and Hike

Road up the mountian
A view of the Salton Sea
A stream in the desert
Waterfalls in the desert
Willis Palms
I know, I know, you've seen one palm tree, you've seen 'em all. That's pretty much the case around here. The palms here are from our hike today. We left late--8am. Because of the heat we need to be on the trail at daybreak--about 6:30, but we just can't seem to motivate ourselves that early. However, we are getting better at hiking in the heat. We made this hike in about 2 hours. That's pretty good for a 4 miler. Remember we are walking mostly on loose, deep sand. And did I mention that its hot? The daytime highs of 100+ or - are lower than the usual summertime highs of 115, but its still hot. We're not complaining, though. It beats being cold.
The first picture is our scenic drive up the Santa Rosa mountains on Saturday. We went up there to visit the town of Anza which spreads itself along a mountain valley. The local woodcarvers were demo-ing at a little festival there, so we went to join the ranks. The drive was worth it. Awsome! The second pic is from a roadside viewpoint near the top. We could see all the valley towns and the north end of the Salton Sea. The other two are from our hike today. This stream feeds the pool at our oasis and runs south through the Preserve, under the road, and along the other side before disapearing into the ground. The rule here is, if there is green, there is water. The oases are natural water. The towns are irragated.
Today was our first day of working. It was also the first day the center is open all day for the season. Duane slaved in the center (4 hours) greeting visitors and answering questions--for all 12 of them. Mostly he read magazines. I stayed in the house and kept cool working on my embroidery. Tough jobs, but...
Basta por hoy! Louise and Duane