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Published: January 30th 2011
Jumbo 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 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 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.
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