Monthly Archives: April 2013

Searching for Palm Trees

temperature 102F
The local temperature when I returned to by car and turned on the iPhone.

This weekend, with our balmy spring weather I decided to go searching for palm trees — or rather palm oases to be exact. And to be more precise, I already knew where they were, since I have hiked the area extensively over the years. I also explored a few side canyons I had not been in before.

The high temperatures were over 100F, which is okay as long as you have plenty of water. When visiting a palm oasis, plan on there being no water available unless you can verify water from a reliable source ahead of time. Palm Trees do not rely on surface water to survive and the water can be dozens of feet below the surface.

In the temperatures I encountered, most people need at least two gallons of water per day, so plan accordingly.

Anyway, it was a fun trip.

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Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT!!

Picture from Balls' and Sunshine's Trail Journal
Picture from Balls’ and Sunshine’s Trail Journal

Sunshine and Balls, a well known long distance hiking father and daughter team, had their water cache stolen yesterday. Apparently other hikers stole it. This is beyond comprehension. I hope the thieves read this. My message to you is that your are less than scum. What goes around comes around, and I hope you get yours in the end. You can read Balls’ post here.

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No comments here…

A friend of mine sent a note saying that John Abela over at had posted a nice note about my Trailstar article on his Facebook page, and there were some comments that it is unfortunate that I don’t allow comments on my website. I can’t verify these comments, since I don’t belong to Facebook. If this is the case, then thanks for the consideration and kind words.

There are few reasons I don’t allow comments on this site

  • I would have to monitor and manage them
  • I already have a job
  • I don’t need more work in my life
  • I am not trying to drive traffic to my site — I have nothing to sell
  • The site is primarily for my children and a very small circle of friends and they have my email address and phone number
  • The site might be useful for those who have similar interests

Trailstar Shelter by Mountain Laurel Designs


collage of tarpsIn the spring and fall the wind in our local deserts can get somewhat severe (gusts of 70+ mph). Along with the wind, gritty sand gets into everything: eyes, nose, ears, hair, gear, food, etc. As you can imagine, lighting a stove isn’t a simple thing to light or operate in this kind of weather. Over the years, my main shelters have been tarps or variations of a tarp (pre-determined shape without a floor). Above: Top row (L to R) poncho tarp, flat tarp, Gossamer Gear Spinn Twin flat tarp with a catenary cut. Bottom row (L to R) Chouinard Pyramid, Six Moons Wild Oasis, zPacks Hexamid.

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Urban Hiking


I think people should hike or walk every day. Few do. One does not need a wilderness trail to enjoy a good walk. Hiking around town can be fun. Joyce and I like to walk to downtown Palm Springs and back home, which is an 8 mile round trip. Of course, a walk downtown usually means eating once we get there. Today was Palm Springs’ 75th Anniversary of incorporation, the there was a big birthday party going on. Since no taxpayer monies were spent on the gala affair, we decided to walk downtown and check things out. The picture above is our view as we leave the house. We would end up doing right around 12 miles today.

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Hiking with Joyce at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

000 PS Sand StormToday Joyce and I did a hike in the area of Big Morongo Canyon. A day of hiking with Joyce is a great day. She doesn’t have the slightest interest in backpacking, but that is okay. For the past 4 weeks I have been away from home almost every day. Finally was able to spend some time at home with Joyce and promised to do some hiking. When I got up from bed this morning and went outside, the sky was overcast gray. Looked like smog. It is spring, and with spring come strong winds as the desert heats up. The gray was sand and dust in the air, and the Palm Trees were bending in the wind. Not great hiking weather.

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