Wednesday, January 14 – West of Calexico, CA

Peter and I get a VERY early start, before sunrise, and knock out our sixteen miles very quickly. This brings us back even with Signal Mountain where we hiked with the Scouts last Friday night and Saturday morning.

Early in today’s hike, we arrive in the Imperial Valley agricultural zone – where the canals have made the desert “blossom as the rose.” All around us are fields of produce; lettuce of many varieties, broccoli, cauliflower and other winter crops. Alfalfa is being cut. Bales of hay are stacked – hundreds of feet long. Dairy farms and some small cattle feed lots are nearby. The canals deliver water to the crops which transpire it into the air raising the local humidity and carrying scents of the land and crops.

The smells today are incredible. Fresh air – clean and crisp, slightly humid, then as we walk, these various smells, subtle but seemingly strong because of their novelty to us after so long in the remote areas, makes us aware of just how far from a normal existence we’ve been for weeks at a time.

It has been a good day to be alive.

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