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Published: June 23rd 2017
Geo: 33.8847, -115.83
Sometimes maintaining the discipline to continue to blog can be a bit of a challenge. Sometimes it is just not wanting to spend the time doing it, and other times, like now, I feel I have already used up all the adjectives to describe beautiful surroundings and landscapes. So with that said, I apologize for any redundancy, it is just that I am limited by my vocabulary as well as the English language itself. As I left off on my previous blog, Alex and I arrived at Jumbo Rocks in Joshua Tree. Now for those wondering, Joshua Tree, not the U2 album, is a desert tree that grows in this region. This hardy tree grows among the rocks, sand, and heat of the desert. So named is the Park we are in, with Jumbo Rocks being one of the many campgrounds. The landscape in this park is very unique in that huge boulders that look like giant children piled them in groups, are throughout the area. Formed through a specific volcanic process, I will spare you the scientific details, then eroded by water, these car to house size rocks are rounded and sit fitting perfectly together. Optimal for climbing
at all levels, this area is a climber's paradise. Camping out here was a real treat for us. There is no electricity so another night of optimal stargazing was anticipated. Getting up at 3:30 am after the moon had set, I was happily surprised to see the night sky in all it's glory. Stars everywhere, constellations I remembered and most I did not. Planets visible, Jupiter, Mars, and satellites passing by. The real treat being this far from city lights was being able to
see the Milky Way. It has been quite a few years since I have been able to get a night sky view like this. Back to bed, I awoke early next to my behemoth rock pile and enjoyed the cool breeze. Before Alex awoke, off I went to watch the sunrise from a high point nearby. What a gorgeous view, with the orange glow over the top of the distant mountain viewed through the silhouette of a lonely Joshua Tree. It felt about 72 with a sight wind, so the temperature in the
desert was very pleasant. I even spotted a Mountain Lion track, I was able later able to confirm with a Park Ranger later.
the eggs and little smokies, a must for every camping trip, we ate our first meal then headed out to explore the boulders. Alex made it clear, he was going to climb one of these huge rock piles, and more specifically one of the BIG ones. Driving down the road, we found a worthy challenge and again, I advised him to be careful, as I probably can't carry him down the mountain. Up, up and away he went. Sometimes I think I underestimate this kid. He appeared to become part human, part billy goat. Watching from the ground, and sometimes just not watching so I wouldn't worry, he scaled boulders, jumped across gaping cracks, and clawed his way to the top. Watching from the bottom, I witnessed his summit then his immediate rest on the high rock. The sun now out in the desert with a vengeance, coupled with about 4000 foot of altitude and being from a home state with an average above see level of 10 feet I am sure he needed that rest. Proudly I snapped off photos, from a nice shaded spot provided by a Joshua Tree. Following the amazing climb, we explored several other formations
and areas named for what they resembled.
Skull rock looked just as the name indicates, split rock looked like someone hit a 4 story boulder with a sledge hammer splitting it down the middle, and chola gardens, acre after acre of a particular hazardous cactus. As the sun was nearing it's departure for the day, Alex took
off again and climbed up a nearby mountain to get some footage of the sun setting in the distance.
Later in the evening as it finally started cooling off, we met some camp neighbors, and hung out for a little social time. Then off to bed we went, still not entirely sure where we are headed tomorrow.
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