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Monday, December 04, 2006

Saturday morning in Bow Willow Canyon

Last Saturday, in an effort to get some exercise and enjoy getting off the coast, a friend and I drove out to the Anza Borrego Desert to get in an early morning hike. I'd looked at some topo maps at home the night before and thought a place called Bow Willow Canyon looked promising. But what I hadn't expected was to find so many beautiful palm canyons. Seeing these large, semi-tropical trees, that most people associate more with Hawaii than the desert, growing in such large numbers, was really nice. If you can imagine walking along a fairly barren, sandy landscape where most the plants would barely reach as high as your knee, and then coming upon a large grove of up to 40 or more of these stunning trees, you can start to see how nice this was. I couldn’t help but wonder what the early explorers of the area must have thought when they were first discovered. There were at least 5 or 6 separate groves, with maybe a hundred or more trees scattered here and there along the walk. Maybe the biggest surprise of all was that we didn’t see another person anywhere on our hike. Surprising, but maybe also a little sad. Living so close to nearly 2 million people (and another 10 million or so if you include Los Angeles) and no one was here to appriciate these beautiful palm groves But we got that solitude we were looking for. It was one of those ultra dry Santa Ana days with visibility up to 20 miles and considering how remote the place was, the silence was deafening.

It seemed the main theme for the hike was Palm groves surrounded by the sounds of silence. So I put together a short piece from the photos I took, along with a short video of some small, but busy friends we made along the trail. I hope you enjoy it.

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