Desert Beauties

We went hiking in Soledad Canyon on the Bar Canyon Trail last weekend, on the spur of the moment, and I really mean on the spur of the moment. We didn’t plan it, though I had been looking for the next hiking trail and someone recommended this trail in our area. Yet, I didn’t really sit down, pore over my calendar (one of my favorite eccentric past times) and planned this. It happened rather suddenly.

A visiting imam was here, some brothers wanted to take him hiking after fajr. I was still in bed, completely out of it, when DD1 came into my room and handed me the phone. I woke up to hubs’ voice asking if we wanted to go hiking with the sheikh.


So in literally 5-10 minutes, we got ready, lugged DS2 out of bed, brought his shirt and pants, shoes, a couple bananas (which later ‘melted’ lol), couple of canteens, and headed out on that Saturday morning, a rather somber morning as the skies were quite gloomy with grey clouds.

The sign at the park gate said to not park the cars at the gate entrance. It only opens at 8 am and we were there at 10 past 7. The brothers parked anyway, so hubs did too and we went in. Oh boy, the last time I hiked was during our trip to California in late March. It took me a while to acclimate to the hike, and I was huffing and puffing for a while.

“This is flat?” I said to hubs as I huffed and puffed like an overfed Mama Bear.

When hubs told me about the place we were going to, he said the brothers assured it was ‘flat’.

To be fair, it was rather flat a trail, especially compared to the 3 hour + Aguirre Springs hiking trail we went to (which had awesome sceneries as well!)

But after a while, I was okay, alhamdulillah.

I realized that I missed the Redwoods we saw on our hike in Muir Woods. Instead of ruddy reddish almost copper red trunks of those gentle forest giants, I was surrounded by the desert, sporting dull yellow desert grass, dotted with darker green bushes here and there, and in the far distance are the majestic mountains, those jibaal that are sorely missed by people who moved away from this place.

To top it off, this trail is also an equestrian trail, so it smelled like horse dung. What a way to wake up to Saturday morning. Nevertheless, I needed that hike, for I’ve been sedentary for too long for my own good.
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It wasn’t long before I was reminded by the fact that even in the most bleakest of moments, you should look for the beauty and wisdom of that situation. If you look hard enough, you will see the beauty, and they will stand out to you and make you go,

“Ohhhhh! Look!! S! Come here, take picture!” (Malay accent italicized – my kids derive utter delight in my Malay accented speech. They transliterate it in their blogs, and make doodles out of it. Even if they think it’s funny, they’ll have to admit (even if after I die) that they can’t live without it)

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This beauty below was so stunning that it had its own ‘Here comes the bride’ pathway leading to it from the main trail. Subhanallah!

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As we headed back towards our haramly parked wagons by the gate entrance (hubs and I actually kept looking back as we started the hike, to make sure we wouldn’t come back to a missing family vehicle), the skies announced their morning azhkaar, and before we knew it, sky connected with earth in their glorification of their Creator; Allah’s mercy lightly descended upon us. It is spring after all. As Z said,

“Does it rain in the desert?”Picture 167

“It sure does. Listen, that thunder, they’re saying ‘Subhanallah, subhanallah'”

We left the mountains, canyons, cacti, dull yellow grass, gravel, to soak up the life-giving rain that Allah had decreed to fall on them, right at that moment, in that precise amount, in that exact size of rain drops, some of them showering us.

Allahu Akbar!



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