Great Day

Published: January 30th 2011
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Jumbo Rocks SunriseJumbo Rocks SunriseJumbo Rocks Sunrise

Jumbo Rocks was just that and here is the early morning sun on rock outcroppings
Conservation seemed to work as we started this day with a battery at 12 V, a full fresh water tank, and empty waste water tanks. This was a day to explore and explore we did as we hit 3 different trails all 1 to 1.5 miles in length. The beauty of the day was the different parts of desert life it showed while focusing on the people and families who lived here. This was also a glorious day with a slight breeze and 50+ temps. Sunscreen was in use and water was in our backpacks.

First was a walk to Ryan Ranch, where a Ryan brother had raised cattle, provided water to his gold-mining brothers, and transported ore to the mill. A shell of an adobe house sat on a hill overlooking the valley below and was surrounded by various artifacts and debris used mostly to preserve and transport water.

Next was a hike through the Hidden Valley. This was an area used by rustlers to hide and fatten their stolen cattle before driving them to market. To access the valley required passing through several narrow openings in the rocks to an open valley surrounded by rock hills (a
TT and HoW at SunriseTT and HoW at SunriseTT and HoW at Sunrise

Beautiful morning cool and crisp and bright
climbers delight - see photos). The land was still fertile with large trees and desert plants indicating water was available below the surface and rain water was trapped in pools during the rainy season. This was the most livable, majestic, and secluded part of the park. A local rancher Bill Keys used dynamite to gain the access to the valley as only the cattle rustlers knew the way. After this hike, we were really uplifted and ready for our next challenge, however a snack was needed.

We took a side trip down to the gathering area for the Keys ranch tour, but a lock gate told us there was either no tour or it was already in progress. Emily wanted to go on this tour, but it seemed there are only a few places to get tickets none of which were close. We then went to Barker Dam for a 1+ mile hike into another rock filled area. The trail took us passed a dam and a lake (yes a Lake with water), but no swimmers, boaters, water skiers, or such. The dam was about 50 feet high and the lake covered several acres. After passing the dam, the
Joshua Tree Hidding the SunJoshua Tree Hidding the SunJoshua Tree Hidding the Sun

Another early morning image
trail took us out to the desert floor and a rock with pictographs created by Native Americans who lived on the land for centuries.

This very satisfy day was over and back to HoW for the evening meal and needed sleep time.

Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11


Ryan Ranch Backyard Ryan Ranch Backyard
Ryan Ranch Backyard

Part of the rock formations surrounding the ranch

Enjoying the day and the history of Ryan Ranch
Hidden ValleyHidden Valley
Hidden Valley

Dynamic Duos favorite location in Joshua Trees
Rock WallRock Wall
Rock Wall

Wall keeping the Hidden Valley hidden and a half moon
Top of the RockTop of the Rock
Top of the Rock

Climbers Delight
Heading DownHeading Down
Heading Down

Retrieving equipment on the way down
Barker Damn LakeBarker Damn Lake
Barker Damn Lake

Among the rocks on a desert floor - a lake
Pictographs RockPictographs Rock
Pictographs Rock

The early inhabitants tell stories

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