Archive for category hiking

All the Pretty People.

Studies have proven that people who are likely to litter are reluctant to do so in areas that are clean and litter free. It has also been reported that people who are observed picking up trash in a public place will influence others to do the same when they’re in a similar situation.

Yes its true, try it. The next time you’re in public and you see a piece of trash on the ground, pick it up then sit back and watch. Every single person who saw you do pick up that litter will be influenced by your actions in one of two ways; if they’re likely to litter they’ll be hesitant to do so. And those who are likely to pick up litter will the next time they see it. The benefits of what you’ve just done are beyond your wildest imagination.

See and trash or litter in this picture? Nope, ya don’t. Ya know why? We have a very cool group of people in Palm Springs. They call themselves the Tahquitz Creek Yacht Club. They go into areas like this and clean. These people are my heroes.

There are two types of people in this world; Ugly people who litter, and pretty people who pick it up. 

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The Legend of Tahquitz

Its best described as a rough terrain with large boulders, a steep incline, and cruel vegetation with thorns. In spite of these conditions Tahquitz Canyon in Palm Springs is something everyone should experience. Technically, Tahquitz Canyon is what geologist call an alluvial fan. This is where melting snow and rainfall become purified as it moves through the sand, rocks, and harsh topography, while making its way down the mountain, and eventually drain into the flood plains below. The Cahuilla Indians were practical people. They first inhabited Tahquitz Canyon over three thousand years ago, probably because of the endless supply of water.

Tahquitz has uniqueness with mystical qualities. Even though it borders the southern part of the Colorado Desert, the majority of direct sunlight is blocked most of the day by the steep cliffs and mountain ridge to the south. It’s easy to get disoriented because it’s difficult to tell where the sun is in the sky. Yet this same rugged land was very significant because water wouldn’t have become purified enough to drink had it not been for this harsh environment. This could explain why Tahquitz Canyon is shrouded in folklore and superstitions by the Cahuilla people till this day.

Now, the name is difficult to say. Not one of the many tourists who visit Palm Springs has ever pronounced it correctly, [tah-quits]. This canyon was named after the first shaman or leader of the Cahuilla Indians. According to legend, deities gave Tahquitz special powers beyond human ability that would make him a powerful and fair leader. In exchange, he was to protect the Cahuilla people. Tahquitz didn’t turn out to be the leader his people were promised. He abused his power, as well as the people he was chosen to lead and protect. He was banned from the tribe and exiled into the narrow canyon that was named in his honor.

There are also superstitions; the Cahuilla Indians believe it is dangerous to fall asleep in the canyon. They believe while you’re sleeping, Tahquitz will swoop down from the cliffs above and steal your soul. There have actually been several deaths in the canyon. That doesn’t sound unreasonable for people to die in such a harsh environment. But the circumstances surrounding these deaths were very strange and unexplained. The deceased didn’t become dehydrated, slip and fall, or become victim to one of the venomous snakes or scorpions. Authorities reported there was no sign of a struggle or accident. All victims were all found the same way; sitting up against one of the large rocks, with their faces void of any expression as if they were calmly waiting to die.

When you hike in the canyon, you see the jagged rocks of the cliffs above that make strange shapes while partial sunlight peers through. It’s almost as if you can see Tahquitz lurking above waiting for any signs of venerability of those who pass.

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