Monday, September 1, 2008

Desert Destination: Four-wheel Driving

Every Monday we visit a desert destination.
Yesterday morning we cleaned, so we were ready for something different in the afternoon and decided to do a little sightseeing in some nearby hills. (Hills around here are just smaller mountains, generally only  a few thousand feet higher than the valley floor rather than over a mile higher than the valley floor.) We got into the truck and headed out.

The truck was a narrow fit through one section, but for the most part the road we chose was in good shape.

You can see the fields in the background, so we aren't too far from the ranch. We were feeling a little adventurous, but not too adventurous. After all, it was a hot afternoon and we didn't have much gumption.

Desert Boy loved all the jostling as we went over the rough road. I wasn't quite so fond of it, so I jumped out to take some photos. Having a camera close at hand is a good excuse for a lot of things, like getting out of bumpy vehicles and taking extra breaks when hiking. 

I told my husband I wanted to look at the vegetation, but as you can see in the photo, most of the vegetation is really brown now, after a rather dry summer. I was hoping if I looked around long enough I might find something interesting.

I did manage to find this cute cactus growing out of a little hole in the rock. It won't be able to get too much bigger.

A few white flowers were growing off this green mat of leaves on a rocky area. I still haven't figured out what they were, but the bright green leaves and long stems were distinctive. (Note: 9/29/08: This is Petrophytum caespitosum, in the Rosaceae family.)

I even found some pretty yellow flowers to help brighten up the landscape. 

These hills are really dry, with no streams or springs. This is some of the typical desert landscape, tall cliffs, scattered pinyon and juniper trees, and lots of sagebrush, Mormon tea, and shadscale. After driving awhile we stopped and took a nap. Desert Boy was the one who inspired us, he had already fallen asleep. 

After our nap and flower break it was time to get back in and see where else the road led to. We felt like rugged explorers. Except that we were in an air-conditioned truck with cushioned seats and plenty to eat and drink. And we had just taken a nap. It's tough being an explorer these days.


Anonymous said...


John Mosley said...

Is that Granite Mountain?

Desert Survivor said...

Nope, not Granite Mountain.

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