Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Anza Borrego - Palm Canyon

First off, we aren't in Yuma this week, like I said we would be. We had some technical difficulties and couldn't go. This post is from a hike we took a while back in the Anza Borrego desert in Southern California.  It was to a isolated oasis in a place called Palm Canyon. It's one of those hikes that can be either easy, medium, or advanced, depending on how far you go and which route you take. We went a lot further than I thought we would and ended up  hiking about 6.5 miles with 1,400-foot gain in elevation. It was pretty hard actually, and NOT a thing to be attempted during the hot summer months. 


These photos are going to be like a Quinton Tarantino movie. First the answer and then the questions.  This photo and the next one, are the pay off after a long hard uphill hike. 

Here is the rest of the pay off. It's an actual oasis in the absolute middle of nowhere, in an amazingly harsh desert climate. This stand of palms is the only one featuring palm trees that are native to California. It was so cool and shady under those trees. 

The round depression in the rock was used to grind grain seeds for hundreds of years. They are called mortars or morteros. Several different tribes settled here over the centuries because of the availability of water, in an otherwise totally arid environment.

This is where we spent the night. Just kidding! 

Of course, there has to be at least one black and white.

Only because I liked the colors.

I didn't expect to see humming birds in the canyon.

We gotta hike over that?  Not really, my wife is looking for mountain sheep. We only have to hike around it.

Our first view of the natural spring running down hill.


We took a different route back out of the canyon. This one was a lot more steep and very rough. My wife is deciding which way to go. She's a good trailblazer...

I said it was steep. This narrow part of the trail had about a one hundred foot drop off.  Yes, I was the idiot hanging over the edge for a photo.
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For reflections by other photographers go to Weekend Reflections sponsored by James.



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76 comments:

becca said...

you always find the most beautiful places to photograph

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you weren't the idiot falling down the canyon!
Excellent photos, Pat.

Budd said...

It isn't that I didn't believe in oasises. I just believed they only existed in England during the 90s. I also didn't realize that there were any in America. Are you sure it wasn't just really hot and your camera was dehydrated and seeing things?

Sylvia K said...

What a fantastic place and I love your captures for the day as always, Pat! The spring and your "motel" look terrific! Also find the rock used for grinding corn so interesting! Great find! The palm trees are amazing! The last thing I would have expected to find there! Thanks for a great tour!!

Sylvia

TexWisGirl said...

the palm oasis is cool! thanks for the reminder on the hummingbird. husband said he saw one here yesterday. must change out the feeder water!

Clarissa Draper said...

You and your wife have so much fun! I think it would be scary to spend a night in a cave.

mshatch said...

I love the pic with the stream and the green fronds - so pretty. When I think of the hikes I take they are so very tame in comparison to yours and I have to admit that last pic gave me a queasy feeling.

Κωστής Τζαγκαράκης said...

Beautiful nature and great photographs again Patrick.
Costas

Pearl said...

An oasis. How wonderful to sit in its shade...

Pearl

TS Hendrik said...

I'm glad you included the black and white. That's a really beautiful picture.

Betty Manousos@ CUT and DRY said...

wow, would love to be there right now.
your photographs are very interesting, pat.

i absolutely enjoyed your post!

have a great rest of the day.

Japy said...

Cool. I love the Oasis in the middle of nowhere. Greetings.

buymebarbies said...

Can't wait to go back! Perfect mix of pics to remind me of the fun time we had!! Love you!!

Brian said...

Those are great photos Pat! I love the place you stayed too!!!

Belle said...

I have never seen even a picture of an oasis in California! How exciting! And it is interesting how those are the only palm trees native to that area. I remember someone telling me the palm trees were imported. I'm glad we actually had one of our own. The water looks so inviting.

Pam said...

Yikes, what drop-off. Thanks for the wonderful trail journey, Pat.
I'm not tired nor hot!
cheers :)

Chuck said...

Pat, I am beginning to worry about you. That looks like beautiful scenery but damn dangerous getting in and around it. You do have a GPS LifeAlert with you on these trips right?? I loved that first picture cause I'm still not sure what I am looking at.

Ms. A said...

Are you crazy??? You are much too close to that drop off. Do you know how long it would take to rescue you, or even to recover your carcass if you fell?

Pat Tillett said...

becca - Thanks becca! I wish I had more time to see even more!

Alex - Nah! I'm not going to get any serious chances. Thanks Alex.

Budd - What's the story morning glory? If you weren't referring to the band, then what I just typed is looking pretty stupid!

Sylvia - Thanks Sylvia! It was an amazing place. There were actually several of those corn grinding depressions. I wish I knew what they were called.

TexWisGirl - We have a humming bird nest on a wind chime right outside our kitchen window. The next is so small, it was built on a large bead.

Clarissa - Thanks Clarissa! We sure do. I wouldn't spend the night in that cave, that's for sure. There are a lot of rattlesnakes and mountain lines in that area.

Pat Tillett said...

mshatch - I really like that one as well. Most of ours are pretty tame also.

Costas - Thanks Costas! I appreciate it.

Pearl - Yep! It was about 20 degrees cooler in there.

Tim - I always do a few B&W, but I usually forget to post at least one.

Betty - I'd love to there right now also. This is probably the last week of mild weather in the southwestern deserts. Thanks Betty!

Japy - Thanks Japy! Greetings to you as well.

Pat Tillett said...

Paula - I'm with you my dear! Love you also... Can't wait to get back there after summer is over.

Brian - Thanks Brian!

Belle - I've never seen a true native oasis in California either. At the end of a long hike the water felt very good on my bare feet.

Pam - I probably exaggerated about how high it was. Maybe only 90 feet!

Chuck - Help, I've fallen and I can't get up! Seriously, we're careful, carry water, have GPS, a compass, and a topo map. I've spent a lot of time in the desert in my life. I wouldn't DARE do that hike during the summer. People have died in this area doing during the summer on easier hikes than this one.

Ms. A - Some have said as much! A little adrenaline is a good thing...

Laura Delegal - Leroy Photography said...

Surprise!! I love the oasis and hummingbird finds. Excellent.

Sallie (FullTime-Life.com said...

How gorgeous! That hummingbird shot is incredible. I don't do well with moving targets like that!

Hope the technical difficulties have been surmounted.

Pat Tillett said...

Laura - Thanks Laura! It just hit me that I also took some fair photos of a red tailed hawk loitering around in the air looking for lunch.

Sallie - Thanks so much Sallie! I hope the tech stuff gets solved soon. We have two companies battling over who's warranty has to pay up!

Ebie said...

Pat, I really like your sense of humor. I always laugh as I read between the lines.

Love the light in one of the trails, probably you were heading down at sunset.

Great exploration and adventure!

Carolyn Ford said...

oh, such beauty! we have hiked to the oasis some years ago and are itching to do it again before the HOT weather sets in. we have been hooked on some of the trails in Palm Springs (Indian Reservation)...desert hiking "rocks"! wonderful photos (glad you didn't fall off any ledges to get the shots) and fun dialogue to read!

California Girl said...

The photo where you like the colors? Reminds me of my knee replacement. Hahaha!

Liz said...

First things first... YES, my blog is word verification free!! (but you knew that)
Now down to business....
Great shots Pat!! Thanks for taking me on your hike. That Hummingbird shot is a sweet one. Interesting facts, thanks for sharing.
Oh, and one last question... Why didn't you sleep in the cave? I mean, it looks rather cozy to me!! :)

Bossy Betty said...

Beautiful! As you can guess that hummingbird shot is my favorite. I think you could have gotten up a little closer to the edge to bring us another shot, don't you think? Where is your dedication to your readers?

Pat Tillett said...

Ebie - Thanks Ebie! We had a great time there.

Carolyn - I'm glad to see that somebody has taken that hike. The really hard part of it (at least for us) is after the Oasis. You really have to do some scrambling and climbing. There are some good sized pools and falls further up the canyon. I haven't done the trails around Palm Springs since I was a kid. I'll have to do again! Thanks for the reminder about that.

Liz - I'm so glad to hear that! LOL! I just KNEW there was rattlers in that little cave. No thanks!

BB - Thanks! Next time, I'll jump off the ledge and take some airborne photos!

Ann Best said...

Hi, Pat. I came over from your comment about Susan Hayward on a previous A to Z post. I agree, there aren't/weren't very many in her league!

Nor are there very many in your photographic league. I LOVE these photos! Your blog is an oasis, especially on days when my care giving life gets too hectic! Thanks!!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

What a great shot of the hummingbird! He even sat still and posed for you. I'm glad you are doing all that steep mountain trail hiking....somebody's got to do it and that wouldn't be me.
Rosemary

California Girl said...

I like the shot of the oasis even if it's not just like in the movies.

Stephen Tremp said...

Cool pics! The last one makes me nervous just looking at it.

Shrinky said...

Hahaha, I've just woken up and at first glance, that second photo of the cluster of trees struck me as some surreal giant tarantula..! (Rubbing the sleep from my eyes) I laughed at the caption under the one of your wife looking for mountain sheep (grin), you two must be so fit after all these travels.

Lolamouse said...

Yeesh! I'm not sure I could've made that hike! Sure looks beautiful, though!

Ruth said...

These are some great photos.

Al Penwasser said...

What a beautiful area! Even though she'd rather sleep in a hotel, Mrs. Penwasser loves to go hiking (as do I). This would be fantastic if it wasn't so far away.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Did you go into any of the caves in Anza Borrego, Pat? I've been, before getting stranded overnight in thick mud from which he couldn't budge the truck - one of my best and worst date stories. Pretty place, though.

xoRobyn

Jenny said...

Is that hole a metate? Or something like that?

You make me want to go hiking! I don't know if I'd be hanging off the drop off, but I'd love the view!

Hope you got your e-mail straightened out!

Anthony J. Langford said...

The things we do for a photo.. lol.. crazy man....

Looks like a great place to explore, and as always, youve done brilliantly to capture it.

The cave looks inviting... but scary!

Youve been doing some great trips in the last months...you must be pretty damn fit by now!

Francisca said...

Another grand adventure well told in words and images. Good stuff, Pat. Trust the tech stuff is nothing serious.

John McElveen said...

GLORIOUS Pat!!! Thanks my friend for another journey through your lens!

John

Blue Wave 707 said...

Cool shots! The palms and the water must have been an amazing find!

Pat Tillett said...

Ann - Thanks Ann! Very nice of you to say that! If I provide a bit of an oasis for you here, then I'm happy!

Rosemary - I was surprised that he sat there for so long. We take our time on our hikes and try to be safe. Speaking of humming birds, we have a little next right outside of our kitchen window.

California Girl - Nah, it was a little bit more rustic than any oasis that I've ever seen in a movie.

Stephen - Thanks! That photo made a bit nervous also. I really shouldn't have done it.

Shrinky - That's funny! We aren't as fit as we should be, that's for sure. Oh yeah, there really were mountain sheep up there, but we couldn't find them. A lot of mountain lions in the area as well.

Lolamouse - The harder the hike, the more careful we are. It was indeed a beautiful place.

Ruth - Thanks so much Ruth!

Pat Tillett said...

Al - It sure was! Maybe someday you'll be able to go there. There is really too much to see and do.
I saw your name just now and I chuckled because I thought of your Tony Soprano line at the end of your last post!

Robyn - Not lately Robyn! But as a kid I sure did! Was there a second date?

Jenny - I have do idea! If I've inspired you to go hiking, then that's a good thing! I think I did get my email together. I can't wait to drop Cox altogether.

Anthony - That is so true! My most important piece of equipment on one of these trips is my camera. thanks so much anthony! I'm not as fit as I'd like to be, but I have a bad knee that keeps me from really going full out. Thanks!

Francisca - Thanks so much my friend! I'm thinking I've got it all figured out. I'll within a couple of days. Thanks!

John - Thanks Buddy! It's my pleasure! Much more to come!

Blue Wave - thanks! It was an amazing place, that's for sure. Can't wait to get back out there.

Cezar and Léia said...

Magnificent reflection in your picture, an artistic capture!
I also love the cute humming bird you are a talented photographer!
Hugs
Léia

Living In Williamsburg Virginia said...

Fantastic shots, as usual. We've never seen an oasis which made this series very interesting. Guess which one of us would hang over the edge for the photo? The one, like you, who has a wife to smart to do it.

Darryl and Ruth :)

Island Rambles Blog said...

wonderful post and so nice to be allowed to see your world and your mind as your creative writing text is full of humour, easy to read, fun post ...great gift of blog writing here as well as the photos.I think you could write short stories but that is what blogging is I guess.

elena nuez said...

thanks for this amazing trip!

Sharon Wagner said...

I love your posts because I get to see a part of the country that I've never been to. You guys really are trailblazers!

altadenahiker said...

Oh, when it comes to Anza Borrego, post away. It's one of my favorite places. Did you visit the poor man's grand canyon? The locals call it that, not me; there's nothing poor about it. And I have hiked this in the heat of summer and you're right, that's stupid.

Stickup Artist said...

Every now and then I ask myself, "I wonder where Patrick and his wife are this week?" I see you made it out to the Palm Oasis! That's so awesome. Not a great wildflower showing this year, but it's still a magical place. I love the image of the little hummingbird!

Pat Tillett said...

Leia - Thanks so much Leia! I appreciat all the nice words!

Darryl and Ruth - Thanks! I've seen a couple, but none as remote as this one. I hear you about hanging over the edge!

Island Rambles - Thanks! I really appreciat the nice words and that you read some of my stuff. I haven't been posting much written stuff lately, I've been backed up with photos! Thanks!

elena - You are welcome! Thanks for tagging along...

Sharon - Thanks Sharon! Lot's more to see and to post here!

altadenahiker - It's one of mine also. I haven't heard about the "poor man's grand canyon," but I'm going to look into it. I've spent so much time there in my life, that I probably have been there and just don't remember.

Stickup Artist - We not only made it to the oasis, but we hiked about a half mile past it. It was by far the hardest part of the hike. Great payback though. We're supposed to be in Yuma this week, but technical difficulties caused us to cancel.

Rekha said...

Fantastic snaps of a life far removed from my sedentary one. The cave home looks interesting enough to dwell in.

Icy BC said...

Oh, your photos are just awesome, but the hummingbird takes the award!

Glad you enjoy your trip!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

PS No, it was a perfect excuse to end that relationship. I needed a good one, his putting my life on the line worked just fine.

Be well.
xoRobyn

Carly said...

It would be neat to spend the night in the cave! It sounds like a very difficult hike! I hope you stayed hydrated!

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

Looks like a great hike Pat! I love the oasis- I have never seen one in real life. I think it is kinda cool the way the palms look after years and years of not being trimmed- Too bad my HOA would not agree with that.

Tina´s PicStory said...

wonderful reflection :)

James said...

Awesome post and I love the palm trees reflection! Coincidentally I was there and hiked to the palm oasis three weeks ago today. I get around to posting pictures someday. :)Did you see any Borregos? We heard and saw several on the cliffs. This was my first time seeing the palms and I could only imagine what it was like 10 years ago before the flood that carried away most of them.

Karen said...

A fabulous hike! Thanks for taking us along.

Catherine said...

wow what a gorgeous place - lovely sequence...

Pat Tillett said...

Rekha - Thanks so much! I wouldn't crawl into anything out there. There MANY rattlesnakes in the area.

Icy BC - Thanks so much! It always makes me happy to spot a hummingbird.

Robyn - Thanks Robyn...

Carly - Not that cave! How hard that hike was all depends on how deep you go up the canyon. To actually get to the oasis, you have to do some scrambling, but to go past the oasis (most people don't), to the pools is VERY hard. A lot of climbing. If you got hurt up there, it would be very hard to get you out.

Ren - Hi Ren! It was a great one. There were many birds living up in those untrimmed palms. I always stay hydrated. Even if it's not happy hour!

Pat Tillett said...

Tina - thanks so much Tina!

James - Wow! We had some friends camping there at that same time. We didn't see any mammals at all! I've been to this spot several times in my life. Even when I was a kid there were palm trees washed down the canyon. But the oasis was much bigger, you are right.

Karen - My pleasure! I'm glad you liked it.

Catherine - thanks! It's an awesome place. But only when it's not summer time.

Catherine -

Leovi said...

Beautiful photos, a great show to visit this amazing place, wonderful. Greetings.

Emille said...

Never heard of it! But it's a worthy replacement of Yuma! Love that first reflection! Can imagine that in the summer it's really a desert trip!!

Dianne said...

fantastic series of photos!!
I love the reflection
and all the beautiful rocks

Malyss said...

A fabulous place to visit! and the reflection is so amazing! perfect!

Rita said...

Pat, I love being able to get my travel kicks through all your wonderful photos. But, you would never get me near that ledge. As a child I was pushed off a bluff and had a skull fracture and dozens of stitches when I landed on a railroad track below. Have had a terrible fear of heights ever since.

Hubby has shots of me at the Grand Canyon holding on to a tree in terror trying to get a glimpse over the rim.

Nita Davis said...

Love this post! That reflection is awesome. Thanks for taking me back to Anza Borrego, it has been a very long time since I was young and spent summers hiking and camping in the the deserts in So. Cal. Brings back many happy memories.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

Again, your photos show the reward after a hard hike.
Thanks! All I had to do to enjoy them was sit on my comfy chair.

Play off the Page

Reader Wil said...

Interesting reflection! And great images of the canyon.

Nat said...

Shame you didn't make it to Yuma... but these great photos are a good substitute :-)

Budd said...

I was indeed talking about the band. Nice catch.

Robert Nicolaescu said...

Beautiful places, beautiful photos:). Best wishes!