Thursday, February 15, 2007

Joshua Tree, the better half

Before the icy nights, before we caught colds, before the mouse took up residence in the van, we were loving Joshua Tree. We camped in the Mojave (high, western) half of the park and only explored a little of the Colorado Desert eastern side.

Jackrabbits and owls and gigantic rock formations in every direction, yee haw!

It's a remarkable horizon. (Even with no bathing facilities in sight.)

With vascular bundles spaced troughout their fibrous trunks, mature Joshua Trees and Mojave Palms often survive fires. This chared oak seems not to have been so lucky.

The visitor's center tells us that ten-of-thousands of climbers visit the park each year. Without gear or experience, we couldn't make it up Big Hunk, Poodles are People too or Sticher Quits. Instead, we scrambled a dozen unnamed granite forms to fantastic vantage points and the occasional resting area.

A bit of trivia- Legend has it that Joshua Trees were named in the mid 19th century by Mormon settlers who were reminded of the biblical Joshua, guiding them westward.

Skull rock can be seen from the road. We searched a couple miles of trail beyond it, no skeleton.


Anonymous said...


This place looks incredible. Wonder how unbearably hot it is in the summer?
Aslin and Ukiah--you guys look rlike real rock climbers. I bet the view from the top was fine.
I love you,

owlhouse said...

I think summer temps are consistently above 100. Our days were 60-70 with nights cool enough to keep the rattle snakes hibernating.
We went through Gila Bend, a town known to exaggerate their heat in order to maintain their "hottest place in the US" claim to fame.

The kids are fantastic rock climbers. I think we'll have to mount grips on the garage wall for them...