It’s January, I’m in Palm Springs, the temperature is in the 70’s, my daughter’s riding her horse at Indio. What do I do with all of this time? The Santa Rosa Mountains are looming to the southwest; I want to explore them, climb them. I’m not going to waste precious moments watching horses shit and run around in circles. I take off for the hills.
A week before, I’d severely sprain my ankle while running railroad ties. When I sprained it, I cried out in pain and sat down. I was a mile into my run and had more to go, so I ran another….no, hobbled another….two miles. By the time I got home, my ankle was twice its size and my foot was swollen down to the toes. In a couple of days the whole foot looked like a bloody corpse.
So, there I was in the Santa Rosas, intent on climbing a 4,000 foot peak, in the nude. After all, I was going to take advantage of the sun. In my trail shoes, I struck out. There were no trails; this was a climb through scree and cactus, on a goat path. The cactus, of course, posed some rather interesting threats, given my state of dress. As I made my way down the path, I had an epiphany; I could be lacerated to death and the search and rescue people would find me, somewhere on the side of a mountain, naked. The thought was hilarious, and as I stumbled through the rocks, in my birthday suit, with an ankle the size of a grapefruit, I began to realize how funny the whole thing was. I started singing Stephani’s tune….”This shit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S,” at the top of my lungs, laughing all the way.