Thursday, March 5, 2009

Eisenhower Peak

This is a white-tailed Antelope squirrel. He lives in the desert. Is he adorable or what? We met him early in our hike to the Eisenhower Peak.  Yes, "we." Bob put golf aside for the day and joined me for the hike. The Eisenhower Peak loop is a 6-mile hike, moderate in intensity, with an elevation gain of 700 feet. It starts out in The Living Desert.
The first leg of the hike is a rocky canyon. Very rocky. Picture wash-walking and boulder-hopping. It is very pretty and the weather was perfect. We wore hiking boots and carried plenty of water. Adequate water is a necessity for desert hiking. And sunscreen, a hat, and a map, too.
I turned around to see where we had been and caught this view of the mountains. When I hike alone (especially if I'm going in and out the same way) I have the habit of turning around every so often to see what the trail looks like from the other direction.  That way the trail looks familiar when I turn around to come back. This can be critical - especially if there are choices along the way - like a fork in the trail. Check out the green at the center of the photo, that's a golf course. Bob notices all of the golf courses.
March is a great time to be in the desert. I love the wildflowers. The winter rain provided enough moisture to stimulate growth.
This paddle cactus is about to bloom. Tempting, but I won't be taking this hike again in a few days to see it open up. So many hikes, I just can't do the same one twice in one trip.
The rocks in this area have a beautiful, rich, reddish brown color. These plants and flowers tucked themselves into a crevice that probably catches water when it rains.
It's hard not to just look at the sky. Just before the midway point the trail widened a bit. And so did the sky. Such a beautiful blue. 
We made it up to the picnic tables - that's the mid-way point. Great views. We unloaded our packs and snacks (apples, nuts, cookies) and rested a bit before heading down along the ridge leg of the loop.
I like this sign. Sometimes in life you get just the right amount of guidance. Trail one way, home the other. Sweet.
Great yellow desert flowers. I think this is from the Brittlebush.
We looked and looked for the Bighorn sheep. We saw lots of their hoof prints on the dusty trail. No sign of the bashful critters until we caught sight of this guy. He is actually a "resident" at The Living Desert.
Wonderful! We left The Living Desert and headed directly to Sherman's Deli. Wow! What a great place. They put dill pickle spears and sauerkraut on the table while you wait for your order (my mouth is watering just thinking about it). I should have taken a picture of the bakery counter. Mile-high cakes and pies. Napoleons. Eclairs. Iced brownies. I was up at the counter three times during our lunch - scanning and asking questions. Yes, I weakened and got a cream puff. I will be eating it for days, it's huge, but the most heavenly confection. A perfect ending to a perfect day.

1 comment:

  1. "The Living Desert". As your photo's show it is so alive. I love it. I was hopeful that you would get to see one of the "bashful critters".