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Published: January 29th 2011
Typical terrain along the Forty-nine Palms trail
Again the day started about 4ish, but this time it was not only cold, but the refrigerator was off and the Check light was on. Another problem - batteries had been depleted. Out into the cold once again and I do mean cold (high 20's and 20 mph winds). The mission this time was to start the truck and charge the batteries until the sun came up and the solar kicked in.
Again our morning meal was filled with discussions about how to deal with this new problem. Since we were already headed out to explore the park, finding a battery charging facility was foremost in our thinking. A stop at O'Riely's auto parts store (formally Kragen's) found charging was a service they provided and they were open until 9PM. This would give us time to explore and then return to charge the batteries.
Our first stop was Twentynine Palms at park headquarters and site of the Oasis of the Mara. It was a short half mile walk, but what we saw was disheartening. This water source had been used for years and basically depleted, the town was encroaching on the Oasis with new house construction less than a
Fourty-Nine Palms Oasis
A view from up the trail as the oasis nestles among the canyons
100 feet away, and the park service had to supply water to the Oasis to keep it alive. Soon an integral part of desert life may disappear.
The next stop was a 1.5 mile hike just off CA 62 to Fortynine Palms Oasis. The day was clear and bright requiring heavy sunscreen, water, and snacks. The initial climb was switched back up a ridge with numerous steps for about a mile and then downhill with an even great number of steps. The palm trees of the Oasis came into view and contrasted sharply with the barren hillsides and canyons surrounding them. It was in the confluence of 3 canyons where the runoff from rains would likely join to create flash floods in the valley below. The canyon hillside were rocky and occasionally dotted with the ever present Joshua Trees.
I could feel my blood sugar being depleted and stopped within a few hundred yards of the Oasis. A banana helped restore some energy and strength as I started back uphill heading for the Trusty Tundra (TT). As I got closer to the top of the ridge, the banana was losing its oomph and I needed a few dextrose
Weatern edge of Twentynine Palms
The northern border of Joshua Tree is lined with cities and towns including a large Maine base at Twentynine Palms
tablets to keep me going. Emily completed the hike and found me on the downhill about a fourth of a mile from the parking lot. I must not have looked good because she insisted we switch backpacks (mine with camera equipment and hers with depleted snacks and water). We arrived at the truck to face a very happy KC who needed a bush and a scratching hand.
Back to the trailer and disconnecting the batteries for a quick charge. While out we ate and picked up a few groceries. After installing the batteries and seeing the voltage readout at 12.6, we felt more secure about not waking up cold nor scrambling to start the truck. Whew what a day, a series of ups and down, but overall a great day.
Tot: 0.181s; Tpl: 0.063s; cc: 9; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0234s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb