Trail Running to the Forty Nine Palms Oasis

Burning Shithead V features several excursions into the desert. Not wanting to be deterred by our group's hike of death into two converging thunderstorm cells earlier, I went back later to run the same trail, determined to make the oasis. Since I didn't have much time, I really did run the trail. After about twenty minutes of running (and suffering annoyingly hot sun now as the storm had completely blown through), I had reached the point where I could see the oasis.

The oasis was in full bloom from the earlier rains, and water was gushing torrents through a rock river bed. It's difficult to describe how immense the oasis actually is after a rainstorm, even in the video view.

The inside of the oasis was majestic. The Palm trees were enormous and provided plenty of shade for the lush coat of vegetation which covered the ground. The microclimate felt completely different that the rest of the vast desert around it.

The view from the oasis was grand as well. In between two mountains, you could still see a small portion of the town of Twenty Nine Palms in the distance.

As you can see, this hike was much more pleasant than getting headslammed by the storm. The views were wonderful and the newly watered desert landscape was alive with thriving plantlife. The picture on the right is basically the same view as one of the pictures of the storm descending on us from that hike.

Eventually we made it back to trailhead, but not before living through insane hiking conditions. The trail started washing out, lightening was striking around us, and high winds made the descent more difficult. I quickly stopped in the middle of the wind and rain to snap a picture (right) of how everything looked at that time. As you will notice, in the clear pictures above, visibility is very high. In this storm, the mountains that you can barely see were in fact rock formations literally a few yards in front of me. As I stopped to take this picture, I was glad the camera was made of plastic as lightening strikes were visible in the area.



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