Today I met Bluto, hands-down the coolest dog of my trip.
14,100 miles and counting.
I woke up in the middle of the desert at Red Canyon. This is where I spent most of my day yesterday, off roading, hiking through slot canyons, and finding a few geocaches. Once I finished that, I realized it was a perfect place to settle down and call home for the night.
I had a wonderful evening, got caught up on a few things since I had telephone service. I started out the morning slow, and even stopped for a sit down breakfast. Right next to that was a museum for general Patton. I looked at some really old army junk for a while. And I revisited a very strange abandoned town, Desert Center. That was my driving route to get to Joshua Tree, so I poked around there for a little longer this morning.
I took my time getting there, and finally made my way to a completely empty Joshua Tree National Park. Seems like wherever I go, nobody else wants to be there while I’m there. I didn’t know a whole lot about Joshua Tree, except that this is one of the favorite places for photographing the dark sky. So, I spent all the daylight hours driving around, getting to know the park, seeing what type of views faced south/southwest, and planned my overnight.
I did one hike, a nice roughly 5 mile round-trip out to a virtual geocache. Amazing hike. I did it at the height of the day, so it was warm, and the pictures were no good. But the walking and looking and learning was fun.
I had picked out 3 or 4 places I wanted to visit after the sun scrammed. I drove, walked and took pictures from 7pm-1am. It was fun, this is definitely a very unique place in the dark. The shadows casted by the sharp plant life is fascinating. Then I turned in to start all over again tomorrow!
14,300 miles and counting
Today I met Bernie, hands-down the coolest dog of my trip.
I woke up in the Jumbo Rocks Campground of Joshua Tree national Park.
Last night was great, I went to 4 or 5 different spots to take pictures of the night sky and the Milky Way. This place is unbelievably fascinating at night, all the features of sharp angles of the plants and trees create the most fantastic shadows.
I decided early in the day that I was gonna spend another day in Joshua Tree. For over 2 months I have pretty much only been go go go. Not a lot of places have I hung around to stretch out for a little while. I decided Joshua Tree was such a place. I started my morning by making some delicious eggs and bacon. It did not get stolen by a wild animal. Then I cleaned up and set about seeing all of the parts of this park that I could. I started the day at skull rock, because that’s very close to where I spent the evening. I climbed all over that guys face, I farted on his nose, then I crossed the street and walked around over there for a while. After that I head to hidden Valley, and first I walked up to the million dollar mine. One of a few old mines inside the park you can walk to. I believe the old abandon ruins were my favorite part of that hike. Anything abandoned or ruined, I always love. Especially those two old cars
Next, I went the other direction out to the dam. A dam in the middle of Joshua Tree National Park, in the middle of the desert. Yeah right, let me go see what this is all about. Holy crap! There’s a dam in the middle of Joshua Tree National Park, in the middle of the desert. There’s not a whole lot of water there, but there’s water, and green stuff, and algae, and shrimp living in that water. Thankfully I don’t go anywhere without my cocktail sauce. I’d give anything to be able to travel back and spend time with the guy that built that infrastructure.
Now is the time for me to take the long drive out towards Cottonwood and see what all the different attractions are along that road.
It was a wonderful drive out to Cottonwood. I knew at the end of the road, Cottonwood, I would be able to fill my freshwater, a big motivation to get there. I stopped many times along the road. I took a few pics, I found all the virtual and earthcaches, I hiked about 12 miles today in the desert. I think my face is sunburn, I forgot my hat, I loved the mine hike the best I think, I planned where I want to be for sunset and overnight to take pictures, and I maintained an overall shock and gratitude at why my life is so lucky.
Once at Cottonwood, that meant turn around and come back north for tonight’s planned activities, around the Cholla cactususesi. I hope to get there in time to make myself a nice dinner. I bought a steak and am saving it for a special occasion. I just checked, according to science today is a Tuesday, cause for celebration!
I got amazing pictures at night of the Cholla Cactus field, and I had to get naked and run back to my van in the middle of the night. That entire story can be read HERE.
Today I met Bronx, hands-down the coolest dog of my trip.
I sat on a cactus and ruined my night, and my shorts and underpants. I had to throw them away. Not what you are thinking, I was not pooping in a cactus patch. I was taking pictures in the middle of the night. I was extra careful where I walked, squatted, sat. One time I was not quite as careful. I was taking pictures from the ground, up, through a cactus, with the milky way in the background. I squatted once, a little too casually. I sprung up with a softball sized cactus piece deeply embedded in my left ass cheek. Through my shorts and underpants, and MANY quills in the rump. I was shocked. The pain was not terrible, thankfully. But I spent about 10 minutes getting the shorts, underpants, cactus sandwich pried away from my butt. That part hurt. There were some quivers I could not get out until I got back to my van and use tweezers. Speaking of that walk back to my van, I had to do it bottomless. I started my night jimmysellers and I ended it DonaldDucking.
I did not get up as early as I wanted today. I caught the sunrise, but not from the top of Mount Ryan, like I had hoped. Too much nighttime photography I guess. I think the biggest factor of not making it to the top of Mount Ryan this morning was the fact that I sat on a cactus in the middle of the night. I’m not sure how that reads, but I remember how it felt.
Now it’s on the Phoenix today where I will probably spend the next day or two at least. Currently I have an appointment to get new rear tires in Phoenix on Friday which is very exciting. There are also four or five 2000s around Phoenix. And plenty of high favorited geocaches, if I needed to kill time.
I will never understand why people don’t want to use the same place I’m using. I drove from the center of Joshua tree out the south entrance at Cottonwood. It’s about an hour. I passed two other cars the entire drive. Don’t people know this place is gorgeous? I prepared myself for the drive from Joshua Tree to Phoenix. It was a little uncomfortable on my left butt cheek but thankfully my van seat has nice padding. On my way to Phoenix I made sure to go out of my way to find a Multi and where I go.
When I got to Phoenix about mid-day it was raining. I am tempted to go up Diablo mountain first, but the rain had me deterred. I checked the forecast, looks like it was ending soon.
I knew this one was going to be quite a few hours round-trip, so I was anxious to get started and completed, and didn’t really want to wait for another day.
So, I started my walk in a light drizzle, hoping it would not get worse. Glad I decided to do the oldie today. It would’ve thrown a real monkey wrench in my schedule, of being nowhere at no specific time ever. I did a 6 1/2 mile loop, 2 hours and 20 minutes. I jogged everywhere that was downhill or flat-ish. It rained on me most of the time, and I came back soaked to the bone. But thankfully it’s Arizona and I was still hot somehow.
After finding the 2000 I went for dinner. I got seated right next to a fellow with a geocaching T-shirt on. I obnoxiously made it known I was also a geocacher. I treated myself to chicken parm calzone, whatever that is.