A desert, by definition, is an area of land that receives less than 10 inches of rain per year. With that limitation one might assume that all deserts are pretty much the same, especially ones that lie roughly on the same longitude. The last couple of weeks proved that assumption entirely wrong.
Since leaving Ash Meadows, we've driven east through Nevada, and Arizona to New Mexico and through the Mohave, Sonora, and Chihuahua Deserts. They may all receive less than 10 inches of rain per year, but due to differences in temperature range, and the timing of those 10 inches (or less) they are noticeably different deserts.
|Mohave Desert (in bloom)|
The Mohave, the driest and most extreme desert, receives an average of 5 inches rain per year, generally in the spring and fall. Temperatures range from 20 degrees on January and February nights to as high as 130 in July and August. This creates a distinct landscape, a barrenness relieved by the occasional plant.
|The cactus jungle that is the Sonoran Desert|
|Preview of hikes to come !|
Tomorrow we're heading into the Gila Mountains. We'll be out of the desert and into the trees for the first time in over five months. It's going to be an adjustment.