A few miles south of Jawbone Canyon, I paused at a Joshua Tree. I looked to the northeast as the desert stretched out in front of me for 70 miles. Far away, but still in view, towering Telescope Peak (11,005 ft.) called to this desert wanderer. In my Jeep, a female client waited in silence. In the other vehicle my gal and another client of the same gender talked of their just concluded desert adventures.
It was beginning to warm in the land of high mountains and deep valleys. Soon, those valleys would be averaging well over 100 degrees every day until September. With little to no rain the spring wildflower season had been a bust. But, I had taken three pretty flowers to the desert on a journey I hoped they would never forget.
To use what has become a cliché that originated about another desert halfway around the world, the girls also experienced “shock and awe.” Shock, when looking up the steep grade of Red Pass on the Titus Canyon trail or the narrow ever-climbing route, with drop-offs of thousands of feet, leading to the ghost town of Cerro Gordo at 8,500 feet, they exclaimed, “Are we going up there?” or asked, “It’s how far to the next restroom?” Or the “awe” when, in the narrows of Titus Canyon, they experienced a silence so immense they could hear the wonder of their own hearts, or the beauty at Aguereberry Point where they viewed deserts and mountains for 100 miles and the sky opened to become the grandest cathedral.
They were not the first females I had taken to the desert. But, it seemed in recent years the number has increased exponentially. Initially, way back in the early 1980s, ladies had always been accompanied by their husbands. Even so “ladies only” trips were few. The first adventure came with my little sister, Debbie Kerns, and my sister-in-law Paula Cornelison. Then, a couple of years later it was again Paula and my mother-in-law, Grace Sanderson...