The Grace & Wisdom of a Morning Person

I can’t believe I was able to get Michael up at 5:30 for a bike ride to Coyote Canyon before it got too hot! As I have mentioned before, Michael is NO morning person, and I am a WORSE night person. He use to try and entice me to stay up later in the evening, but soon discovered I am just too mean and bitchy if I don’t get my beauty rest! I am usually prone to letting him sleep in if he stayed up late the night before, but because it is starting to get really hot, I am determined to wake him up early in order to get some excercise before the oven is cranked up in the desert. We really don’t have a choice in the matter if we want to play outdoors , SO GAME ON!!! He is going to have to become a morning person during the summer season whether he likes it or not. He will probably be cranky so I will have to somehow find the grace and wisdom to turn the other cheek while encouraging him to become a morning person. Today I succeeded in getting him out of bed and up on our bikes by 5:45! With helmets and gloves on, we joyously headed to Coyote Canyon in Anza Borrego Desert State Park.

Fortunately for us, the Henderson Canyon mountain range prevented the sun from beating down on our heads for most of the ride heading out, and we managed to make it in one hour to the Desert Gardens sign, which is about 3 miles. It is a slight incline to the sign with patches of deep sand and rough, rocky terrain. It was still cool enough and all you could hear were birds singing and our bikes clanking along as we bounced off rocks and slid along in sandy soil. I have to admit that I love it! There is something about it that is almost like horseback riding. My bike handled really well and I have learned to stand up if it gets too rocky, brake with only the back brake, and keep your weight on the back wheel while guiding the handlebars in an S shape when you hit deep sand. I haven’t crashed yet and I hope to ward it off until the far future. I have been accident prone most of my life and have sustained life threatening injuries, so I would like to think that I am learning at least a few lessons in my older age from all the previous mistakes, and can attempt a new sport with regard for my safety….

When we made it to the Gardens Sign, we took a water break and I was able to take a few photographs before we turned around and headed back down to Di Giorgio and home. Going downhill has its own quirky navigational tricks, but all in all it was a fun trip. Now that we are home in our air conditioned house, my face is still flushed from the adventure that took us 2 hours round trip. We made it home at 8:00 and it was only a mild 94 degrees out! It will peak at 104 today, but I will be too tired to feel restless and have absolutely no desire to be outside. That is the beauty of an early morning workout at the start of a desert summer, heat spell. You will sit around in a stupor and feel the contentment of one who has survived a near death experience!

Off Road Biking in Coyote Canyon

It doesn’t get any better than this. After dropping Callie off to continue biking, we headed to Coyote Canyon which is something we have only done with a 4 wheel drive car. Riding the sandy trail with bikes was as close as it gets to riding a horse; which is my all time favorite thing to do with my sister Gayle. The day was gorgeous and still cool enough to enjoy exerting oneself under the sun.

When we got about half way to our finish line, I noticed one Hawk-moth pollinating a lovely scented Desert Willow tree. We had just passed through the second wash of deep sand, and I was getting use to biking off road. The tree was covered with bees buzzing all around it and I just happened to see the one moth. I raced over and was able to get a couple shots of it before it headed out into the vast desert. I was just writing about this moth yesterday when I posted about the Sacred Datura and how it depends on this type of moth to help pollinate it. They look just like hummingbirds in flight and their size is somewhat off putting because they are so large. 

The bike ride was fabulous and I love off road biking. There is a trick to driving over soft sand but I got the hang of it right away and feel like a natural. I can’t wait to take the bikes to Mount Laguna. When we hiked there in early March, the trails were perfect for biking. Not too steep and rocky and wide enough to guide yourself around obstacles. What a fun day so far. Callie is resting and I was able to do the photography that I so much wanted to do. A Hawk-moth in flight in the middle of the desert. You cannot ask for more!

A Visual Update on Anza Borrego Spring Bloom

My sister Gayle and brother in law David came to visit on Sunday and we drove out to Coyote Canyon and Henderson Canyon to check out the wildflowers. Every day brings a few more blooms. It was cold and windy last night which is not good for the fragile flowers so I am keeping fingers crossed the bloom will continue to develop throughout the week.

Coyote Canyon

Michael and I took a quick 5 mile drive off road to Coyote Canyon to check out the wildflowers and were surprised to see as many flowers as we did. It was apparent that flash flooding and a fair amount of water passed through the area recently and flowers were quite abundant. I think that the peak bloom will still be a week away though. We did see more Primrose and Verbena and several Desert Lilies and Desert Dandelions. It was a fabulous day and the sun was out and the temperature was a mild 74 degrees. Henderson Canyon had more Primroses then yesterday and Indian Head Ranch was filled with Dandelions. I can’t wait for the yellow and orange from the desert Sunflowers and Poppies to paint the desert a profusion of color.