Mount Signal always held a special fascination for me because it’s not connected to any nearby mountain, just standing alone at the far west end of the valley. Any prominent mountain produces a strong urge in me to climb it. Though I rarely do.
One day I decided to drive out there to check it out. I was in high school and was driving a very old and beat up Volvo. I broke almost every rule in the How to Not Get Yourself Killed in the Desert rulebook.
- I didn’t tell anyone where I was going, and there were no cell phones back then
- I didn’t bring any extra water
- My car was not really in great working order
- I drove off road, in a car that wasn’t mean to be driven off road.
Not that I meant to drive off road, but the road ended at one point and I had to keep driving. Because at one point I realized the gravel I was driving on became sand. And everyone knows, you don’t do U-Turns on sand. But I broke another rule and made a U-Turn and thankfully didn’t get stuck.
At least at that point in the year it wasn’t too hot yet, and I could have probably walked to the freeway or to Camacho’s- at least I think Camacho’s was near there. Or I might have just ended up vulture food.
There’s no particular point to this story, I can’t even think of why I remembered this particular episode. When I look back on it now, growing up in the desert was so strange.