Thursday, September 6, 2012

Walkabout September

So, I did two longer hikes, five miles on Tuesday, and four miles on Wednesday. I know that's technically not that long of a hike, but it's the furthest I've walked all summer. You can blame that on the heat, 100 degrees for two months straight has a way of taking all the joy out of being outdoors.

Yesterday, well actually Tuesday (because I'm posting this late), was a much more enjoyable walk, because it was slightly cooler, around 88, the coolest it's been in awhile, but today, Wednesday, it was 95, with high humidity, and walking four miles was a challenge. Plus today's hike was up in the foothills, with a couple of steep hills to climb with an elevation gain of a couple hundred feet, it was actually more challenging than yesterday's longer hike, which was over relatively flat land through ranch country and washes. Though I went through two quarts of water on both hikes. That's all I brought with me, and had I gone any further, I probably would need to bring at least a gallon of water in these types of weather conditions.

I took several pictures, too many to post here, but just to give you a feel for the type of scenery I encountered, I'll post a couple highlights.

Bridge over wash. 
This is the overpass bridge I had to walk over to get to the wash. Kind of looks like the type of place you'd get jumped, or find a dead body lying in the wash, eh? Yeah, could happen. I never noticed this before, but there are a huge amount of spider webs near highway guard rails and bridges. As I'm walking along here, I must have counted twenty huge spider webs along the guard rails leading up to this bridge, and some of them crossed my path. It really freaked me out. I guess I would call myself an outdoorsy person, wear sensible shoes, and am not afraid of breaking a nail, or a sweat, but I really don't like spiders; walking into a web is like a nightmare, where I'm more than likely to scream like a little girl; not fun.

Lesson learned: look where you're walking, careful not to walk into any spider webs in your path; they especially like trees and metallic objects, like sign posts, bridges, and guard rails. Be careful.

Speaking of spiders, this is one of the lovelys I encountered near this bridge:

Scary spider. 
After looking at several spider pictures online, I'm pretty sure it's an Orb-weaver spider. It's the very first time I've ever seen and photographed one in my life. So even though I do not like it, would completely freak out if I found one crawling on me, it was kind of cool to see, to photograph it and share it with you here.

Okay, now for something pretty. I like going down by the washes. It's been awhile. No longer is one in my backyard, have to walk an extra two miles, but it's worth it. They remind me of beaches, and I am someone who absolutely loves seeing water and going to the beach; the desert is not really my kind of my place, but you know, here I am, whatever works, got to make the best of it.

The view from the wash. 
This is the view on the other side of the bridge, taking a deep right. Much prettier, quieter, and very park-like atmosphere. I love it. Perhaps this month, I'll go back, and do a long overdue "hiking in desert washes" post.

Ranch Country. 
This is probably my favorite picture of the bunch, or I should say, my favorite location for taking pictures: ranch country. I could be more specific, but I'm a private person, despite having a blog about my life, I don't want to make it too easy for stalkers. Anyway, I've photographed this same spot before, but different time of year. This was kind of monsoonal, after some recent heavy rains, and a thick lingering humidity in the air. It was a great walk.

I also took several pictures of farm animals, including: horses, miniature horses, sheep, goats, and cattle; Texas Longhorns, Black Angus, and Dairy Cows. No pigs, but I did hear a rooster. Way too many pictures to post here, but maybe I'll do another post, or create another blog for that purpose, for just pictures and captions, that sort of thing; though probably not until next month, if ever. But here's one picture, of a family of miniature horses.

Little horses. 
I just couldn't resist, they were so cute, and friendly, came right up to me, but sad, as are most of the animals here, even though their free range, grass fed. Not that it's a bad place to live, probably like a heaven, compared to their factory farmed cousins in hell, but it's probably because of the heat and bugs, not a pleasant life for anyone living outside in the hot desert without AC, you'd probably look sad too.

*Well, that's all for now. As promised, this is post 3 of 20, part of my "20 posts in 30 days challenge." Stay tuned for more. I'll probably crank out at least two more this week, to keep myself on schedule, maybe something more philosophical next time. We'll see. Have a good night, or day, whatever it is. I'll be back, soon.