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Randall Henderson Trail

There are several national and state parks that we are going to hike while we are in this part of California. I mean, what better way to spend a day in the hot, dry desert then hiking in the hot, dry desert?

We decided to get our feet wet, sandy actually, as there was no water, hiking the Randall Henderson Trail in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains. A relatively easy hike with just a hint of elevation. 1,000 feet to start with a top elevation of 1,425 feet. We spent about an hour and a half walking the trail.

We head out to Joshua Tree National Park for the day today. Moderate temps and light winds. Should be a perfect day for hiking and photography. And I think Lorraine and I are more than ready for a longer day of hiking in this type of climate.

Here is the trailhead for Randall Henderson. There are three trail loops, Wash, Cholla and Canyon. We went on one of them. I have no idea which one of the three but we certainly walked through a wash, passed numerous chollas, and climbed up through a canyon.

In the distance, you can see the Coachella Valley. There you will find the city of Palm Desert. Civilization is only thirty minutes away. By car.

The desert wildflowers were starting to bloom. During this time of year, there are people chasing after wildflowers in the desert. Shooting them. With cameras.

For our hike, I decided to take out my prized Leica M10 with a Summicron 35mm F2 lens. That camera system is magical even when shooting in the early afternoon sun.

There were many wildflowers present throughout most of our hike.

Amazing how these flowers blossom in such a harsh environment.

And it is a harsh environment. Our trail was covered with Cylindropuntia Bigelovii, the teddy bear cholla. The teddy bear cholla is a cactus species native to this area of California.

Don’t they look cute?

Everywhere we looked, we found more teddy bear chollas.

Be very, very careful around this cholla, even if it is named after a teddy bear. There is nothing even remotely cuddly about the teddy bear cholla.

In case you need further proof about a close encounter with a cholla. All I can say is ouch!

We eventually found our way back to the visitor’s centre. Beautifully landscaped with some really cool palm trees.