Doug & Lou’s Exceptional Adventure: Joshua Tree

We left Palm Springs destined for Joshua Tree National Park

The snowy mountains on the horizon as we left our beautiful sunny oasis to head into the Park
Welcome to Joshua Tree

A short drive into the Park and suddenly these incredible rocks started to spring up everywhere. Joshua Tree is AMAZING! We arrived here around 1:30 pm and set up camp in the Hidden Valley Campgrounds. NEVER in a million years would you find another place like this!! We were parked right beside INTERSECTION Rock. This is the most popular rock in the park for avid Rock Climbers! Ironically, Doug had written in his notes to ask where this particular rock was located……Ha!!! No need for a guide…..this place tells its own story.

Intersection Rock

We wandered around in the hot afternoon sun, looking up at peaks with people standing up top! We were in the most popular campground for 20 and 30 year olds!! No one seemed to mind us being here. Our neighbour, Jimmy, came over for a short visit and he and Doug had an interesting conversation about the crystallization of the rocks. (I had seen a pic of intersection rock while reading about the park. It did not indicate were it was located. Hidden Valley seemed to be the best campground. We parked and set up … sat down … and there in front of us was Intersection Rock. We were in the closest campground. Serendipity!! The gods were with us.)

“The gods are only with me!” (Oh,I forgot to tell you, Donald Trump is our guest editor today. Hang on.)

Here we are in our cool little spot, camped right next to Jimmy, our new neighbour and new best friend “My camper is bigger” DT

This was an awesome spot to just sit and watch the climbers. They are all very friendly. Many are couples and what we noted was how calm and in tune with each other they are. While they are climbing they are so focused, and only speak to warn of ropes coming down or to instruct their partner on tightening the ropes. One climber said that when they are ascending the rock it is akin to meditation.

look at all those caribiners!
Coming Down “Nice Butt” DT
Some climbers are so skilled they don’t need any equipment……. (I gave up before I reached the top) “Canadians really love me, they love me. Most of them voted for me. I hope the guy in this picture falls and hurts himself. He didn’t vote for me.” Don
……..while others come prepared with their own Crash Pads!

Amid all the sand coloured boulders and peaks stand Joshua trees. What cool, hairy-barked and green-crowned beauties!

The Mormans named the tree Joshua because they thought the trees looked like Joshua with his arms spread to welcome them

(A Joshua Tree is a real tree with hard wood. It retains a lot of minerals including salt which make it very hard to burn but also fire resistant. Fires will often race through the sage brush in a desert. You probably could cut boards but the saw blade would not last too long due to the abrasion of all the minerals in the wood.) “I will put people back to work making furniture out of Joshua Trees. We will make special saws, very special saws with excellent teeth to cut these stupid trees. We will not be stopped.”

I was so happy the weather had improved and that we had come here for a few days. We travelled up to Key View to watch the sunset. From this elevation (5,185 ft) you can see 100 miles! We were looking at the Salton Sea- ( The Salton C is an inland C but it receives so little water today that the former resorts have all been abandoned. Now dirt bike/ATV territory but many Architectural awards were given out when these resorts opened — 1920s to 1950s) “Serves them right.” -which was 35 miles away…..the middle peak is a mountain in Mexico which is 100 miles away and in the other direction is California’s tallest peak!

What a view of the mountains and the Salton Sea
This was the valley below the lookout

The San Andreas Fault lay at our feet almost a mile below. AWESOME! Tried to capture the setting sun, but the photos don’t come close to the beauty in the sky! Signs posted at the viewpoint say that the smog from California’s industries has destroyed a ‘clear view’ . Once the sun starts to set, it gets very cold….quickly!

How blessed we are to see these picture perfect views of nature

Returned to our sweet little spot, turned on the furnace and cooked yet another stir fry!! How’s my cooking, Doug? (Sorry, I can’t hear what you said. I’m reading.)

I bought some very tasty stir fry spice when we went to Tubac with Bob and Sally, which adds a nice touch to the mundane meals I am making on the stovetop!!! Doug says the stir fries are great!! (Very good. Very good.)

Draz…Doug wants you to know that we were with Gram Parsons here. We genuflected before supper and offered the stir fry to his memory! (The Flying Burrito brother’s body was cremated — attempted to be — in this park. A gruesome tale.) “And if they don’t stop the killing in Chicago I’ll take over the city and clean it up.”

We tucked in for the night early (9:45 p.m.) but at some point were awoken by the yapping of coyotes. Yes, coyotes who were probably only a couple of campsites away!! Yikes! Again, I gave thanks that we were in a RIG! Those poor little rock climbers were all sleeping in one-man tents out there in the freezing cold with coyotes nipping at their frozen feet!!!

“January 31 — We have been on the road 26 days!! Man, have we covered a lot of ground! It is another clear, sunny day. No showers or running water in this campground. WE ARE HIPPIES AGAIN!! (Hippies in an RV). Today we will tie bandanas around our greasy hair, put on our patched jeans and wander barefoot among the Joshua trees looking for Nirvana.” LW

Trumps Nose at the end.
They take my breath away!
Skull Rock

Today is February 3rd. We are now nestled into a KOA Campground in the desert …Barstow/Calico California……awaiting our trip to Death Valley. We have to wait, because the campsites are all booked up until February 6th. I don’t mind waiting. We are both enjoying the break, especially since we have the internet and can find out what is happening in the outside world. Oh, and we have showers here, too!!!

My computer tells me it is Friday! Can this be true? There are some things in life that are priceless. Good Health. Time. Love. Adventure. Cherish every moment! ……to be continued….. “ And having me as your president, all you lucky Canadians up there in the cold. Vote for me and I will warm your weather. Stupid Trudeau.” Love you all very, very much. Donald.

Louise’s Note: Doug seems to be losing it!! Separation anxiety (from all his people)??? perhaps! While I am busy cherishing every moment, it looks like Doug (and Donald) may be on his/their way out!!!

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