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Published: January 30th 2011
The drive to Cottonwood Springs was much slower and restful than the preceding day. We arrived at the visitor center, got a trail map, and some good information about the area. We headed to the campground and quickly found a camp site HoW would fit. Next was a quick lunch and then off to Mastodon Peak Trail. It was the much the same as all the others – up stairs, over boulders, through rock fields, slogging through sandy dry washes.
We passed the Mastodon Mine and then up a steep trail toward the peak. There was a sign showing a sharp left turn to the peak which was .1 of a mile, but indicated the trail was not maintained. I invoked one of my little used hiking rules “Don't go on unmaintained trails especially if they are going up hill and are steep”. Satisfied I had not compromised my rules and had done my best to reach the peak, I took photos from this windy outpost of the Salton Sea, desert plants, and the peak I was prevented from climbing (damn rules always get in the way of fun activities).
On the way back Emily spotted a large tree
that seems out of place in these dry, desert surroundings. She took a side trip to see if it was a eucalyptus and could be growing out here. She was right and brought back leaves to prove it. There was also a grove of 6+ further down the trail. While we were gone the wind had picked up and our house was rocking in the breeze.
As Emily was fixing dinner and just after sunset the sky turned colorfully brilliant. I can't describe it, so I am including a photo which speaks volumes. No heater needed tonight and we continued our tour of Italy from DVD. The small inverter works wonders when batteries are fully charged. So we enjoyed one of the many pleasures of the great outdoors – TV.
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