Friday, November 28, 2014

Reaching The Summit - 11/28/14 - Yuma, AZ

Friday – November 28, 2014
Reaching The Summit
Imperial Dam BLM
Yuma, Arizona

We awoke to another beautiful, sunny day with the temperature forecast to reach the low eighties. We decided a hike in the desert is in order to walk off some of the calories we consumed on Thanksgiving.

There is a low mountain range we can see from our campsite here at the Imperial Dam BLM, LTVA. We set our hiking objective to reach the summit of one of those mountains.

There is a wild burro trail that we followed for about 1.5 miles that took us in the direction the mountains.

At that point, the trail ends at the edge of a field of boulders.

The landscape at Imperial Dam, including the mountain ranges, are filled with boulders of all sizes. We presume this is the result of volcanic activity from millions of years ago. We proceeded on, making our way gingerly through the field of boulders. One can only wonder if this vastness of rock-strewn landscape is what the surface of the Moon or Mars must look like.

After hiking another 2.5 miles we finally reached the base of the mountain we wanted to climb.

The side of the mountain was filled with boulders, so it was slow going up to the top. Reaching the summit was such a thrilling experience. The view of desert below was magnificent. We took some pictures and had a picnic lunch consisting of Fiber One energy bars, apple slices, orange slices and cashew and almond nuts.

We took a different route down the mountain. This route took us through seven ravines before we reach our campsite. Once again, we are confronted with traversing a rock-strewn obstacle course hiking down the mountain. It continues once we reached the base of the mountain. We reach the first ravine. The ravines are dry riverbeds carved out by the rains during the monsoon season that frequent the area in August and September each year. Some of the ravines have steep sides, so we hike their dry riverbeds looking for inclines that are relatively easy to climb to reach the next plateau.

At about the fifth ravine, we spotted a wild burro trail and followed that trail through the remaining plateaus and ravines. When we reached the riverbed of the seventh ravine, I spotted movement a short distance from us down the riverbed. It was two wild burros grazing on the green leaf branches of some trees that only seem to flourish within the riverbeds. The burros at first seemed startled by our presence then nonchalantly resumed their grazing.

A perfect ending to our hike!

We returned to our campsite completing a very enjoyable 8.10-mile hike, exploring the magnificence of the desert environment.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

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