Most of the first two miles were over open sandy desert terrain with a fairly consistent, but not difficult rise. We wondered what this nice little canyon had done to early explorers, to deserve such a negative name...
This cheerful sign was accompanied by three rock cairns which may or may not have been real. It was quite a graphic way of reminding hikers that the desert can and will kill you if you go into it unprepared!
The morning was quite warm, and the landscape provided no respite from the intense sunshine.
We noticed buds and flowers on many of the plants, but they would have been easy to miss. Most were too tiny for my camera to capture a decent image, or were past their "prime" and were a bit tattered looking. These cholla flowers were just starting to open.
Because there was a spring further up (like Palm Canyon) there were more trees and greenery as we climbed.
At the beginning of the third mile, the trail got more difficult and we had to climb and scramble over some very large rockfalls. The sun and heat was also starting to get to me, so we decided to turn back.
There was another couple on the trail that we had passed as they rested, and then they passed us as we did the same. They went a little farther up the trail than we did, but as they passed us on the way down (during our lunch) they reported the falls were dry, and that except for more large rocks there was not much beyond our turn-around place.
I do not move quickly thru the rocks. I am not very flexible, and am very cautious about where I place each step, because I do not want to twist a knee or get my foot caught. I'm not really concerned about rattlesnakes, but I keep an eye out for them.
We ate breakfast, in the shade of a large boulder, just after we turned back, and were home in the Alfa before 11:00 AM.
We did make it almost five miles. I think five miles in the desert is like ten in the forest!
We are presently experiencing very high winds. We slept with the slides pulled in because we wanted to avoid damage to the slide cover. It is now noon and we pulled them back in again. I'm sure glad we are not trying to drive anywhere today.
I'm glad we came here, and we will not be leaving for a couple more days, but I can't say I am as big a desert-lover as some of my blog friends seem to be. I enjoyed seeing the area and hiking here, but I don't think I want to spend weeks boondocking on BLM lands the way many of you do.
But that is part of why we want to do this: to experience many places and be able to move on if we wish.
If we all loved the same places they would be too crowded.