Monday, April 25, 2016

April 8, 2016 Borrego Palm Canyon Nature Trail

We got up early today and headed to the Borrego Palm Canyon Trailhead for two reasons. One...we wanted to beat the crowds since this is the most popular hike in the area. Two...this trip was planned so we could spend time with my family. So after spending three days in the desert we have to get back to the coast because tonight we have dinner plans with my parents, my brothers and sister-in-law.

Every trailhead out here has multiple safety warnings. Of course we were a bit worried about entering a canyon with storm clouds over the mountains...but this is our last chance to hike this trail and we are hoping to see the young Bighorn Sheep that have been spotted here the past few days.

The rumors must be true.

Yes, I know! Rattlesnakes live in the area.

I figured with baby sheep in the area there is probably a good chance to see a mountain lion too. Dark clouds rolling down the mountains ahead of us...

...and dark clouds in the desert behind us. 

I gave Chrissy the choice of turning around for safety reasons and driving back now so we could spend more time with my family. She said she would take her chances with the flash floods, rattlesnakes and mountain lions. 

Right away she found these footprints in the sand...

and followed them into a wash where they disappeared. The footprints were probably from a coyote but we hoped it was a mountain lion.

These two were the only other hikers we saw on the trail early in the morning. They look like they ignored the "must carry at least a gallon of water " warning.

The first part of the hike into the canyon was mostly rocks and palm tree trunks washed down from flash floods. And the occasional ocotillo plant.

Once we hiked a bit up the canyon we started seeing more colorful plants...

...and the local residents.

The hike continued up the canyon and further in the mountains.

There were some big rocks that tumbled to the bottom of the canyon.

This dry wash is home to lots of critters.

Does the early bird get the worm? Not so sure out here. It was pretty dry up to this point.

But once we spotted the palm oasis, we also started seeing water flowing down the canyon.

It suddenly became a little tougher to find the trail...

...which made this hike much more fun as we crossed the stream a few times and climbed over and around the rocks.

The scenery also improved immensely. I found time to relax on the rocks and enjoy the solitude and beauty of my surroundings. 

I also took pictures. Lots of pictures.

California fan palms.

Chrissy kept finding a way to get closer to the large group of palms.

We hiked around this area for a bit before we headed back down the canyon. As you can see we got lucky as blue sky and sunshine broke through the clouds.

There were lots of palm tree trunks from a flash flood about a decade ago that destroyed sixty percent of the palm trees in the canyon.

Hiking back we met a few hikers. We all had the same question, "Have you seen any bighorn sheep?" The answer was always "No."

I love the sky in this shot. We've been in the desert for three days and this was the brightest sky we saw the whole time.

We headed back to the coast and enjoyed dinner with my family at La Cave. Then on Saturday we saw my parents favorite local band, Mid-Life Crisis who were very good. On Sunday we celebrated my Aunt Pat & Uncle Ed's 60th anniversary with my cousins which was my favorite day of this trip. 
On Monday we spent time with Mrs. Delgado who has been like another mother to me for years. Then we visited with Chrissy's Aunt Marilyn and cousins Carson and Liz at their beautiful new home.
Another perfect trip for us.

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