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Archive for April 26th, 2009

Day 139 – 26th April 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on April 26, 2009

Sunday – Joshua Tree National Park, California

Remember, national parks do not always have water, as I found out later on today!

After a quick breakfast I headed to Joshua Tree, the town, only because with all the traffic around I missed the park entrance in 29 Palms itself 🙂 I arrived at the visitors centre where I picked up a free map of the park with highlighted areas where there would be blooming flowers etc.

The park entrance is actually another 5 miles away where you have to show your pass going in and I was told, also when you leave, no sneaky things happening here.

The first stop was at a beginners climbing rock, apparently lots of people like to climb around this park.

A bit further in I stopped for a photo of these funny things I saw in some bushes, they reminded me of the nests we have back home which are made by the processionary caterpillar, I am not sure what these are. There were lots of bikers riding through the park as I noticed throughout the day and loads of yellow flowering plants.

The first small trail walk is at Hidden Valley, apparently in the old days it was used as a hideout for horse and cattle rustlers. The entrance was dynamited open late last century. The walk around the valley takes about an hour.

Outside as I was leaving, just coming, in I met up with a couple who are doing things the hard way, lol. Albert and Ann bought a semi prime mover, built a box behind the cab and this is where the Goldwing lives, attached an RV 5th wheeler and are now travelling in style. We had a great chat and they ended up sending me a link of recreation parks for camping. Thanks a lot and it was great meeting you both, safe travels.

It was getting close to lunchtime, this is when I found there is nothing in the park, so I went back out to Joshua Tree town and bought some supplies. Next stop was a lookout, it was quite high up and a bit chilly and windy, the view could have been better as the smog was bad. But, I heard some locals say that on a bad day you cannot see anything much at all, that cannot be good for you surely!

On the way back down I took this road to the Lost Horse Mine, it turned quite sandy and gave me a few moments.

Then at the end it turned into quite a hike, which I decided not to do, so I went back out.

The Joshua Tree, weird looking but functional.

By now it was late afternoon so as there was more to see I decided to camp. I had looked around the Hidden Valley campground and it looked nice, but as I wanted to keep on moving in the park itself I headed to a campsite called Jumbo Rocks, which is aptly named.

After setting up camp, I found out there is no water supplies, although they have pit style dunnies. This was a bit of a concern as I only had a 3lt camelback bladder, nearly empty and a small reserve bottle, 500ml. As I did not have the correct money for the camp site, I figured when the ranger turned up I would ask him/her for some.

Next on the list was a small hike to Skull Rock via a nature trail. Remind me to do two things in the future, do not wear thongs, they are no good for hiking, and take the SPOT with me as there could have been snakes around and there was not many people around now!

Skull Rock itself.

The return journey

The camp site entrance at last.

On my way back in I had noticed on another camp table two 4lt bottles of water, the site had a tag on it, but no cars or people around, hmmmm.

When I got back to my site, there was no sign of any ranger, so no chance of getting any water, so I went back and borrowed the water that was left. The site tag said yesterdays date, so the water must have been left on purpose, hopefully no one contaminated it, but beggars cannot be choosers eh!
It now meant I had enough water for dinner, breakfast and tomorrows ride 🙂

Once the sun went down, as it is a desert area, it got very cold and the wind did not help at all. I was snug and warm in the tent though which is where I spent the evening.

Day – 95 miles and 153 km
Trip – 4,651 miles and 7,485 km

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