On September 23rd, Heidi’s birthday, we decided to hike to the Forty Nine Palms Oasis, one of 5 Desert Fan Palm oases in Joshua Tree National Park. It was a 3.3 mile hike up and down the desert mountain side to a nicely shaded oasis. Interestingly, an oasis forms where the tectonic plates have shifted at a fault line and forced underground water to surface. This limited water source creates a small pool surrounded by a patch of green in an otherwise neutral and monochromatic dry landscape.

We hiked with the sun high overhead. I guess we wanted the full desert experience. During our hike, we sucked down the entire 2 liters of water in our camel backpack. Trey, as usual, did great — even if we did use a little reverse psychology to spur him on and avoid having to carry him. The shade of the palm trees provided a great place for a rest, snack, and “sword” fight with dead palm branches.

Fellow hikers that day included a native Georgian running shirtless in a kilt and trio of German tourists (it seems they always travel with a third wheel and attire unsuitable for hiking).

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