The actual road trip went the other way around, but in planning our day we decided to start in the desert and end in the mountains – it turned out to be a good idea!
The point of today was to look at how fracturing of the bedrock changes the landscape. Imagine crossing the desert; it is hot, it is dry, where life exists it is sparse and hard. All of the sudden there is a spot of lush greenery; palm trees and life are plentiful. The question is “Why?” Why is this lush greenery surrounded by miles of inhospitable, parched, dry waste? This is what we went to the Thousand Palms Oasis to study.
The answer has everything to do with the mountains. The fracturing that was caused by the same forces that raised them has released the groundwater. As it flows down from the saturation at the tops of them mountains, the water has to go somewhere – that somewhere is up causing these oases. Unlike the spare life outside, here the life is plentiful and varied.
We should have gone earlier, by the time we headed out to lake at the McCallum Grove the temperatures were already on the rise. As this is a hike of about a mile and it is almost all out in the blistering sun, we decided not to go all the way to the grove, we headed out and went on to the second part of the road trip.
The road trip was lovely! We started in the desert and as the temperatures rose, so did we – we headed up to the top of Mt. San Jacinto and were in the mountains for the heat of the day. Here the desert gives way to more and varied plant life until we get to the pine forests near the summit.
We spent most of the day driving and by sunset we were back at the hotel, having a cocktail by the pool.
Wherever you are today I hope that your day was as varied and pleasurable!