19 April 2007

A week in Western Deserts

The goal was a climbing trip to Joshua Tree National Park, California. I hadn't been to JT since spring 1986 when Chris Haaland, Steve Vanderburgh, Doug Frost and I found some $60 RT tickets to San Diego. Our rental car was not available so they gave us a Lincoln. What a trip that was!

This trip started out great. We camped at the Fremont Indian State Park, west of Richfield, UT. We woke up and found they were just about to have an Easter egg hunt. Perfect timing for Julia.

Later, we drove thru the Mojave National Preserve, in (drumroll...) the Mojave desert, California. The restored train depot/ museum at Kelso (sat map) was really cool. I'd like to spend more time poking around the old mining towns.

We had 4 beautiful days of climbing and enjoying Joshua Tree before the sandstorm hit. Even then we squeezed in two climbs the day it started snowing. Well, the 2nd climb wasn't totally snow free .. It was really strange. One minute the sky was blue, the next minute it was cloudy, then it was tan from the sand. It really wasn't even windy until some time later. Then it started snowing. Back at camp, we decided to pack it in and head to the Las Vegas area.

A day climbing at Red Rocks NCA (official cheesy BLM site, Supertopo climbing site) on Friday was a good way to break up the drive on the way back. We had to stop at the Bonnie Springs Ranch (sat map, pic) to see the old mining town and petting zoo. This isn't an ordinary petting zoo. We were suprised to see a Canadian Lynx and 2 Wolfs. They looked too healthy to pet though.

A beautiful primitive camp and a hike in Arches National Park finished off the trip.

Trip pictures here.

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