Desert Happiness

What makes the desert beautiful is that it hides a well. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I dealt with what they call languishing throughout the first 18 months of the pandemic, I’ve been making a real effort lately to jump start things. Particularly since work has been off the rails nuts. One of the things I had decided to do was to get more camping in this fall. There’s something cleansing about being in nature for a couple of days, I sleep really well when I’m camping. The one place that has become a surprising favorite of mine has become the desert. One of the many things my times at Burning Man has given me is a deep appreciation for the desert. Even more so desert mornings. There is little better than quiet desert mornings as the sun comes up. Cool, dry air, birds chirping, typically little to no wind and the world just seems calm and right.

So to satisfy missing my time in the desert at Burning Man and to do a little camping as I promised myself I would, I headed out to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. I was happily able to get into the campground on Thursday night before the weekend crowd rolled in. The first 24 hours were absolutely amazing, it was completely peaceful, I took a lovely easy two mile hike at sunset and made a friend.

I had been so excited about getting out of town I forgot a few things, and stopped on the way in to pick them up. Of course, as the sun went down I realized I also forgot my lantern. No worries, I had my flashlights and my headlamp. So as darkness fell I pulled them out and realized I had forgotten my batteries box as well. So all I had for light was my windup emergency flashlight. Luckily the market in town was open til 8PM and at 7:45 I cruised in to pick up batteries, let there be light. So I was fully geared up for the weekend following a really pretty sunset.

Day two found me up at dawn for the sunset pictured at the top of the post. I headed out early up into the mountains on a three mile hike up to real life desert oasis. It’s a hike I’ve done before, it’s not terribly challenging up through a number of canyons until suddenly brown and rocky turns into green and rocky with a little tiny oasis surrounded by lush palm trees. There are more pictures from the whole weekend at my Instagram account @reverendmichaelkane. The holy grail in Anza is to spot bighorn sheep and while there was a lot of sign on the trail, no bighorn. However, I did see my first bighorn sheep on this trip. As I was driving in I was slowly pulling into a vista pulloff and as I did I almost hit a female bighorn sheep. She was just five feet away and was absolutely beautiful, I was so excited to see her.

Once I was back from my hike I set up my hammock, it’s been so long since I’ve been in one of my hammocks, it had been warm the first night and I was annoyed I hadn’t set the hammock up as I would have absolutely slept in it the first night. After taking a nice little siesta after my hike I did my one standing ritual in Borrego Springs, I hit Pablito’s for their Spicy Enchilada Verde plate, they were delicious. Friday was such a beautiful day in the desert, overcast, about eighty degrees and the clouds started to breakup as the day went on and it gave me hope that I might have clearer skies for the Draconid Meteor Shower. Unfortunately they didn’t breakup enough, I saw only one meteor, but laying on a hammock, watching the skies, listening to music with a blazing fire pit made for a really fantastic evening!

I spent the rest of the weekend rolling up through California listening to football on the radio and doing a little exploring. Even found a Bigfoot.

Time in the desert always helps me clear my head, I’ve been completely off my game for the last two months, after this weekend I feel I’m more focused and ready to get back on track in a lot of ways. Definitely happy days this weekend, hope they were for you as well. ~ Rev Kane

About Michael Kane

Michael Kane is a writer, photographer, educator, speaker, adventurer and a general sampler of life. His books on hiking and poetry are available in soft cover and Kindle on Amazon.
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