After our snowshoeing excursion on Mount San Jacinto, we drove an hour to Twentynine Palms to spend the rest of the weekend at our favorite bed and breakfast, the Campbell House. We arrived early enough to relax for a bit before heading out for dinner and drinks at the Twentynine Palms Inn. It was a great way to end the day. I slept very well that night until I awoke around 5:45 am and decided to wake my husband up so we could head into the park by 6:48 am in time to watch the sun come up. As much as I would have liked to sleep in, I never miss a desert sunrise. We quickly put on some clothes, threw our backpacks and some extra water in the car and drove into the park. The colors were phenomenal as always! It was chilly, but I was bundled up so I barely noticed. It was quiet with not many people around since it was still very early. The only sounds we heard were the birds peacefully singing and I saw a huge hare hop by. His feet were quite large and he had long, black tipped ears. I took a some photos as the sun came up and then we spent some time simply enjoying the tranquil morning before heading back for breakfast. Later on, after checking out of the bed and breakfast, we decided to drive through the park. We had mixed feelings about it since all of the issues going on with the government shut down, but we wanted to see for ourselves. We discovered that there were rangers working both the West and North entrances (without pay). The park looked like it was being well taken care of by the volunteers. The ranger told us that the Visitor Center on Park Blvd. was open and being operated by Joshua Tree National Park Association. We stopped off at the visitor center and made a donation. It was the least we could do to help their efforts. If I lived near and worked in Joshua Tree National Park, I'm sure I'd be working for free too. Joshua Tree is a very sacred and special place. I was happy to see it being well cared for.Read More
This past Sunday we drove 90 minutes outside of LA to the Western Mojave desert to Saddleback Butte State Park. Our destination was a short climb up the 3,651’ Saddleback Butte Peak. This butte dates back to the Cretaceous period about 70 million years ago. The hike was a short but sweet 3.7 miles round trip with an elevation +/- of 1,020’. I think the hardest part of this hike was walking through the desert sand. Once you start climbing up the butte, the trail fades in and out a bit. There are also some rock scrambles, but they’re pretty easy making the hike a lot of fun. In the spring, this area will be covered in wildflowers. It was a nice relaxing day. I’m looking forward to seeing this area again in the spring.
Images from Joshua Tree National Park, January 14 and 15, 2017Read More