Winter in the Desert - 2013 travel blog

happy hikers

cactus family



road to Palm Springs

Indian Canyons

rock formation

rock formation

Indian Canyons pano

horseback riders

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Indian Canyons

When the United States defeated Mexico we added 55% more land to our country. One of the first things we needed was a railroad joining California and its gold rush fields to the rest of the country. The Agua Caliente Cahuilla Indians were living in this area and surprisingly they didn't lose it all to the railroad. Alternating sections along the route were given to the Indians and the railroad and the indians have managed to hang on to some prime real estate to this day. As is often the case, some of these lands house casinos.

But the plot known as Indian Canyons is blessed with flowing water, more precious than gold here in the desert. And everywhere the water flows, giant fans palms reach for the sky. It's a Garden of Eden spot. Birds chirped in the palms fronds; tiny lizards zipped back and forth across the path. We took a short loop through Andreas Canyon, stopping every few feet for a photo. After a picnic in a palm grove, we put the pedal to the metal and hiked four miles through Murray Canyon. The path wound through the palm groves and flowing water. You could hop across on rocks, but I just waded through. It felt great on a hot day. Some folks made the trip on horse back, but it was good for us to exert ourselves a bit. The contrast between the flowing water and shady groves and the arid land nearby was stark. Some of the rock formations looked like they were being squeezed up out of the earth by the tectonic plates shifting. A dynamic place.

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