What, you didn't notice I'd been gone? Ten days without a post is unlikely...even though I have nothing to say, that's a bit long. We got in last night from our latest desert excursion...four of us, tired, dirty and happy. As an experienced desert camper I know that the cacti and rocks are hard to sleep on and long ago quit trying to use the pads they offer. I found a nice, thick cushion at a yard sale and have used it for years. It's nice to be able to sleep.
Our first night was to be at Red Rock State Park, but when we got there around dusk it was just too cold, down in the 30s. Nobody even wanted to try to set up camp, so we chickened out and drove to a motel instead. It looks like a nice park though. Otherworldly.
2nd day we stopped at Zzyzzx Road to look for wildlife, but all we found were ducks at the oasis. Still a nice place to visit, then we toured Kelso, still one of my favorite places. Nothing has changed there and we again went to Hole In The Wall to camp. There's a placard questioning why it's named HITW, positing that possibly some bandit ala Butch Cassidy hid out there--duh, it's because of all the HOLES in the WALLS there, gas pockets that have burst over the millennia, hence the name. And this night we set up camp and FROZE. Very cold and windy, my feet were like two lumps of ice down in my army mummy bag, they never did warm up in spite of my wool socks. Others suffered more though, I at least got some sleep. Complaints were many and varied the next morning, but as I pointed out, weren't the stars AMAZING?
3rd day we drove through the Mojave to Joshua Tree, one of my favorite places I haven't gotten to blog about yet. Beautiful weather, nice and warm, and not too bad at night. Having learned our lesson we made a fire here and basked in its warmth. We hiked the Queen mine trail, highly recommended although it's mostly uphill (pant) and various other small hikes. Stayed here two nights, both pretty comfortable (Thanks, cushion!)
5th day--we toured the Patton Museum, a great WW2 museum at Chiriaco Summit. Lots of War artifacts, and lots of TANKS! Who doesn't love TANKS? If I was rich I'd own a fleet of them! I'd climb into one to go get my mail, that's how much I love TANKS! Possibly I'd feel different if I'd ever had to serve in one.
The accommodations had been pretty uncomfortable, so we decided just to go hang out at Anza-Borrego State Park instead of attempting another night of camping. It's a lovely place full of blossoming spring flowers.
Bleah. I want to see coyotes and cactus. We spent some time hiking around the garden like desert here then got a motel room and drove home the next day. Thanks to my daughter I didn't have to drive any of US 5 this time, so I feel pretty good today. Everyone else is still comatose though. On the whole I'd rather have gone to Tombstone, but this was okay. It ain't like old times--but it'll do!