Friday, December 23, 2016

Baby Steps in the Desert Sand

Edgar looks over the entire southern valley, with Mount Signal in the background

-by Edgar Bernal Sevilla, Curation/Education Staff

As many of you who have read my blog before know, I am an MWOA (museum worker of action.) While I love comfortable office work, my true passion lies in travel, whether it be through the spatial dimension or the temporal one. What better job is there to travel through both time and space?

Edgar and his friend Miguel begin their hike
During another one of my surges of (semi) creative energy that overwhelmed all feeble attempts to continue my day to day work, I decided that I would take a hike every Monday to some locale at or near the Imperial Valley. This way, I could see everything I read about, whether it be the exact point where the Yuha Man was found, the fish traps on the ancient shoreline, or the ghost towns of the eastern Imperial Valley. It is my firm belief that it is impossible to write about something you do not know intimately with any kind of authority, and academic intimacy is best achieved through the saturation of all of the senses, not just the sight of words on paper.

Near the top, with the Carrizo Badlands behind
My first local hike was but baby steps in the desert sand. A friend and I decided we wanted to visit the Coyote Mountains near the Painted Gorge. We climbed up the foothills and were instantly rewarded by amazing views and, being young people, incredible selfies with the beautiful backdrop of the Colorado Desert. We climbed the highest foothill at the beckoning of a large crow who would grow agitated every time we stopped and would keep cawing until we resumed the climb. Once we reached the top, the crow let out some shouts of victory and then flew away, satisfied that we could finally see what she sees every day, at least in my romantic interpretation of events.

Southeastern view of the summit, overlooking the Yuha
The view we were rewarded with by just climbing the highest foothill, nevermind the actual mountains, filled us with the desire to seek greater heights. The red, yellow, and purple hues of the Painted Gorge blessed our northern view, while the jagged hills of the Yuha Badlands crowned by the misty blue Mount Signal in a way our phone cameras so sadly, inadequately captured stole the show to the southeast. That southeastern view was something absolutely incredible, bringing to mind images of Pride Rock from my favorite childhood movie the Lion King.

Our next target: Carrizo Mountain, the highest of the Coyotes. We tried to find the trailhead that day but could not, so I just found the location online and now I wait for the coming Monday!

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