Joshua Tree, a Bouldering Paradise

By | May 2, 2009

We had a great stay at our new friends’ home, but it was time to move on…

It poured the morning we left, so we had to repack the van while dodging the raindrops. We said our final good-byes to Bea and Elle (Jay was gone surfing; we had said good-bye to him the previous night), and drove to the grocery store to stock up for the next few days in Joshua Tree, our next destination. Then we went to Starbucks for coffee to go with our morning donuts (cinnamon roll and apple strudel). At Starbucks, we ran into Jay, just in from surfing, so we got one last opportunity to chat with him and thank him again for a great visit.

Finally we hit the road out of town. And we drove and drove until sundown and a little past until we got to Joshua Tree. The scenery along the way was gorgeous, through rolling hills of green with big wispy white clouds overhead.

The darkness had settled by the time we showed up in Joshua Tree, so I didn’t get to see the amazing rock landscape that Tom had told me was there. But we found our spot at the Jumbo Rocks campground in the dark, made grilled pizzas for dinner, read briefly, and went to sleep.

The morning sun turned the sky a beautiful yellow/orange in the East and a purple/pink along the horizon to the West. Add that to the striking lighting on the huge boulder towering over our campsite, and my first daylight view of Joshua Tree was breathtaking. The cool part was, the rock was extremely grippy, so it was no hard task to scramble to the top and check out the rest of the panorama.

Joshua tree, for us, was basically a huge playground, with massive boulder piles everywhere you could see. Check out this scene: Standing on any one of these piles, you would look insignificant, or be so small as to not show up in the picture.

This is a typical desert scene we saw there. The crazy Dr. Seuss-like tree on the right is a Joshua Tree, for which the park is named.

More to come on this amazing place, where we scrambled over the rocks until we dropped from exhaustion.

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