Thursday, March 3, 2011


Yesterday, we drove about 25 miles south east to the Mecca Hills Wilderness area to hike Painted Canyon. The area has numerous canyons to hike if you are willing to drive in on a dirt road. You don't need a four wheel drive unless you get off the main road.
 Huge slabs of rock upended, or bent, or swirled let you know that this is San Andreas Fault country.
The weather turned warm yesterday but an overcast kept it cool and perfect for hiking and taking pictures. It was practically impossible to take a poor picture.
 The colors mix as though some great spoon swirled them together for a marbled cake.
Activity levels vary. The canyon is beautiful as a drive. These  views were taken from the road. If you prefer to do some rock climbing, a good path leads you on.

We walked in about a quarter mile and found the entrance to the "slots". They are narrow passes between sheer canyon walls.

 I ducked into  small cave where the slot opened up for a bit.
Some places are so steep you have to get down and up by ladders that other rock climbers have placed. This was the shortest one. One we climbed was almost straight up and down and about ten feet long.
Sometimes you crawl out of a hole without the aid of ladders. But, there are plenty of hand holds among the rocks.
The sky is visible above you, the rocks are stunning and the climb is worth the effort. Jim has been inactive with his cold that won't go away, so we only did three ladders. Earlier, we stopped at an urgent care center and they prescribed me a codeine based cough syrup and told me I had no infection. Its just an epidemic type of nasty thing going around. The smog here is heavy on some days and the air quality can negatively affect people like Jim who have allergies. He doesn't see a doctor until we get to Bakersfield.
I continually see beautiful, low flying cloud formations in this desert sky. It was difficult to take a bad picture.
 I don't know what these wildflowers are, except beautiful.

For a slide show of  Painted Canyon photos, click the following link:

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