Throwback: the campfire at Pinyon Point

I mentioned in a recent post that I made a fire at Pinyon Point in the fall of 2013. I didn't plan to, I didn't know anything about this campsite, and would never believe after walking through barren dry sand desert with yucca and Joshua trees for ten or twenty miles that I would comeContinue reading “Throwback: the campfire at Pinyon Point”

Secrets of the PCT: Pinyon Point

This doesn't look like much, does it?


This is a section of the Pacific Crest Trailsection F, heading north through the Mojave Desert.

Let me say I grew up far away from the desert and never thought I liked its lack of trees and aridity, but well, maybe I should have known better. Should have listened to my elders. For example:


This is a sort of plaza, at about six thousand feet, overlooking the vastest desert in Southern California. This area, which I'm calling Pinyon Point,has numerous sites in which to roll out a pad in beauty and serenity (and perhaps wind, for at its height, it does experience weather — that's why, I think, the pinyon pines grow so well there).

Yet it's all but unused. I made a fire there a year and a half ago, after a snowfall, and near as I can tell, the campfire hasn't been used since. I confess I kind of like it that way, so I'm not going to reveal the exact location, although readers who would like to know can write me, and I'll probably tell.

I was rolling up my tent this past Sunday, and heard a pair of PCT walkers stop and chat on the other side of a rock, not fifty feet away, and yet completely oblivious of my presence.

Let me show you a little more —

The unsayable: Rilke (snow in the desert)

Give thanks to Kurt Harvey, for sharing this photo of mountains near Tucson this new year to Google+'s California and Western Landscapes community , and for the words that follow from Rilke: Things aren't all so tangible and sayable as people would usually have us believe; most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a spaceContinue reading “The unsayable: Rilke (snow in the desert)”

Rain comes to the desert: Chris Clarke

The ecologists never fail to describe coastal Southern California as a semi-arid region, which all too many residents transmute into "desert." It's not! Big difference between a land of some rain and a land of no rain. Trees, for one. As Chris Clarke, who has an interesting gig writing for KCET points out, rain oftenContinue reading “Rain comes to the desert: Chris Clarke”

Is climate change impacting real estate in the Southwest?

In the United States today, according to the real estate site Zillow, the two cities in the most trouble are Phoenix, where a little more than half than half of all homeowners are underwater — where debt outweighs the equity — and Las Vegas, where an astounding 70% of homeowners are underwater.  Is it aContinue reading “Is climate change impacting real estate in the Southwest?”