Catching Up Volume 4 – California Here We Come!

2 November 2011 in Traveling

 

October 23 – This morning we actually awoke after 8 am. Since leaving and adjusting to our new “work” schedule and lifestyle we’ve found it harder and harder to sleep in. But this morning we awoke around ten, granted we had only went to sleep five hours ago.

Our plan was to hit the road and head to Joshua Tree National Park. I was a little sleep deprived, but ready to go. Lindsay on the other hand hinted at staying another night. I didn’t see the point and thought it was a waste of money. So we got everything packed up and were about to roll out when I started to consider the four hour drive ahead of us in the heat of the day in the desert. After going back and forth over the advantages and disadvantages to staying I finally decided Lindsay was right, let’s just stay an extra day, recover and leave bright and early the following day.

So we unloaded and paid for another night. This turned out to be a great idea. Shortly after deciding to stay I started to pay my dues for the night before. I’ve never been very prone to hangovers, but every once and awhile I’ll get hit a little.

After allowing my stomach to settle and eating some ramen for lunch we headed over to the pool and hot tub for a relaxing afternoon. After dinner we went back for another dip and retired early.

Joshua Tree National Park, Joshua TreesOctober 24 – We awoke bright and early as planned and with a good days rest and a good nights sleep we were ready for the road. The drive wasn’t too bad despite a twenty mile detour caused by what we would find to be California’s consistent inability to properly display road signs in sensible places. After getting gas we had back tracked to the area where we had gotten off the freeway. Here without warning we were shot back onto the freeway going the wrong direction. The next exit at which we could turn around was ten miles away.

But eventually we arrived in Joshua Tree and after stopping at the visitors center we headed into the park. Joshua Tree, as far as rock formation scale is very timid in comparison to the places we’ve been. But the peculiarity of the rocks, as well as the plants, makes for an interesting landscape. As you drive through the park there are huge piles of gigantic boulders placed here and there seemingly by some giant ogre with nothing else to do. Or maybe a better example is the Flinestones. I believe Lindsay came up with that comparison. And if the piles weren’t odd enough Joshua Trees have an alien look as well. The average is about the size of a small maple tree, but more stout. Then cut all small leaving branches and replace them with large, round, aloe/agave looking plants.

After doing the main drive through we found a nice spot to take in sunset, which was beautiful. While Lindsay took photos I climbed around on one of the rock piles. This was one of my favorite activities here. It’s like a big, outdoor rock climbing gym. Everywhere you look there’s another pile to climb on. You can choose the size your comfortable with and go nuts. All of the rock is really grippy and you can choose hard, vertical passes or easy, more horizontal passes.

Fault Line, Joshua Tree National ParkOctober 25 – We decided that since we arrived later in the afternoon we’d enjoy a little more of the park this morning before heading towards Sequoia National Park. So I awoke early and as usual couldn’t get Lindsay out of bed for sunrise. So I hoped in the truck and headed out in search of a moderate sized rock pile to climb and catch sunrise. After a few wrong turns I found a good spot and after a short climb I watched the sky explode in the east. It was gorgeous!

When I returned I found that Lindsay had awoken and was pleasantly enjoying the remainder of the sunrise from a large rock behind our campsite. After a quick breakfast we hit the road to see a few more spots where we saw a mountain goat, a fault line and an old dam. Then headed back for lunch.

After lunch we were back on the road. We cut over near LA and skirted while keeping to the freeway as best we could. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Then we were in the valley and on the 5. Interstate five for those none westcoastians. Yeah I can say that. I can make up words and pretend to be a part of a culture I’ve only recently joined. Anyways we made our way up to Vasillia, just outside of Sequoia NP and crashed in another Wal-Mart parking lot.

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2 November 2011 Traveling

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