Every day when I walk to my office I have a good view of the Poly P from the stairs and open hallway of my department building. I’ve been wanting to see the Poly P up close.
Today I decided to abandon my office for a few hours to do some hiking. I started heading toward the Poly P. I stopped halfway to the top and took a few pictures of the valley. The views of Madonna Mountain and Bishop Peak were very good.
From this vantage point the Poly P looked different. Notice the two people on the far left side of the picture below (dark and light dots); they give you a sense of scale.
It’s a big letter. There are railroad tie terraces beside the P to stabilize the soil and reduce the damage done by visitors. Up close it is evident that the P has been heavily graffitied and re-painted. It also appears the entire P was painted purple not too long ago–when you look at it up close you see flecks of purple under the white paint and on the edges. Parts of the P are made from concrete blocks, other parts appear to be poured slabs. A heavy plaster covers most of it.
I stopped at the Yucca Viewpoint above the Poly P and took in the view. As I walked across the ridge top I noticed I was not alone. Lizards were plentiful. They sat on rocks, soaking in the sun until I disturbed them. Then they darted around and disappeared quickly. I noticed that they reacted to shadows with lightning speed. If I would cast a shadow that contacted them they would be gone almost instantaneously. I suspect this is a defense mechanism that protects them from swooping birds of prey.
I hiked along the Yucca Ridge Trail, headed toward Poly Canyon. My destination was the Design Village. I first saw it from high above.
The Design Village is a haphazard collection of structures that the Engineering and Architecture departments use for competitions and teaching. The Design Village is a bit eerie. It looks like a collection of 1970s science fiction props. I expected to see an alien or a mad scientist.
At the main entrance there is a narrow winding walkway bordered by stone walls. I believe it is in place to keep the free range horses that live in the Design Village from wandering off. When I was leaving I was standing at the end of the walkway, looking back at the village, when I turned around and was startled to be looking at a face.
I returned to campus via Poly Canyon Drive.
I saw many interesting plants, most notably California poppies on the ridge and California sycamores in the canyon. I also walked into a bee swarm, but I didn’t get stung. There were thousands of bees clustered on a small tree. Bees were colliding with me, but they seemed more intent on getting to the tree than bothering me.