Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Deem Hills

Yesterday was my 4th annual Christmas Day hike. At 8:15 a.m., the weather was overcast with temps in the mid-40s and a steady wind, which made for a brisk and invigorating hike at Deem Hills. I left the trail head on the Circumference Trail, which circled a basalt-strewn knoll. 20 minutes into the hike, I veered off onto the Ridgeline Trail. 20 minutes later, I was on a cold and blustery ridgetop. The wind chill must have been in the high 30s. There was more bluster than GW declaring "Mission Accomplished." It was colder than Barry reviewing his Tuesday Kill List.

After a few minutes admiring the 360ยบ views on top, I headed down the Ridgeline Trail to pick up the Circumference Trail on the other side of the knoll. After an approximate 4-mile, 1:20 hike, I was back at the trail head ready for a hot cup of coffee.

Later in the day, I went to Lux for Christmas dinner and a couple glasses of wine.

Leaving the trail head

Cholla cacti

Circumnavigating the knoll

Creosote and cacti amid the basalt

Trail marker

Squaw Peak off in the distance

Looking north

Looking back along the Ridgeline Trail

Christmas on the ridgeline

A canal runs through it

Another knoll to the north

The home stretch

Sweet ride back at the trail head

First course at Lux: butternut squash soup; kale salad with feta cheese, dates, and roasted pine nuts

Second course: prime rib, mashed potatoes, asparagus and a glass of Malbec