Monday, March 07, 2011

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK…..WOW:))

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Looks like we dodged a very nasty wind bullet in Borrego Springs Sunday but it caught up with us about 4 a.m. Monday morning here south of Joshua Tree.  Very heavy duty wind gusts hitting us broadside & rattling everything on the roof that was rattlible.  Good thing we did not have our satellite dish set up or TV antennae deployed because I’m sure our antennae would have ended up over in Texas somewhere & our broken tripod satellite dish would have ended up imbedded in the ground somewhere a few miles east of here.  Not good!!

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KELLY LEADS THE WAY THIS MORNING FROM THE SOUTH END OF THE PARK TO 29 PALMS AT THE PARK’S NORTH END

I pulled this George Carlin saying off Ed’s PEREGRINATING GRAYBEARD blog site this morning.  Fulltimers will understand this one having already dealt with all their house ‘stuff:))’  ''That's all you need in life, a little place for your stuff. That's all your house is: a place to keep your stuff. If you didn't have so much stuff, you wouldn't need a house. You could just walk around all the time. A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it.”

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A QUIET, PEACEFUL & SCENIC DRIVE AND WE WERE BASICALLY THE ONLY VEHICLES ON THE ROAD FOR ABOUT 50 MILES

Because of the heavy wind gusts we wrestled with the decision early this morning to move the Motor Home to the north end of the Park or not.  Higher altitude there & could be worse plus it would be a tricky cross wind all the way with a narrow winding road to boot.

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ROLLING THROUGH THE PARK’S CHOLLA GARDEN

Decision was made this morning to head out for 29 Palms at Joshua Tree’s north end.  Threw some gas in the Jeep from our spare can & at 8:10 we were northbound with Kelly leading in the Jeep.  Wind seemed to diminish quite a bit as we made our way along the winding road through the Park.  Barely saw another car so it was a beautiful sunny & very peaceful drive through the Mohave Desert.  Just another one of those nice quiet morning drives.

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AFTER DRIVING THROUGH TWO THIRDS OF THE PARK WE FINALLY BEGAN SEEING SOME JOSHUA TREES:))

Saw my very first Joshua Tree at 9:43 off to the right of the road.  Then a couple more & within seconds we were seeing Joshua trees everywhere.  I could instantly see I was going to have a problem with all these trees.  They are beautiful with many varied imaginative shapes which made them a photographer’s dream.

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I COULD SEE FROM ALL THE DIFFERENT SHAPES THAT THESE JOSHUA TREES WERE A PHOTOGRAPHER’S DREAM

With Kelly still leading in the Jeep we passed through the Park’s north gate & began the long gradual decent into the town of 29 Palms.  By the way, this didn’t cost us anything because Kelly has a ‘America The Beautiful’ pass.  Sure does pay to be traveling with an American girl:))

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EXITING THE PARK’S NORTH GATE WITH THE TOWN OF 29 PALMS BELOW IN THE VALLEY AHEAD 

Didn’t take us long to find a McDonald’s with a Seven Eleven fuel stop right beside it.  Motor Home still had over half a tank left & this was our first fuel stop since Yuma a couple weeks ago way back in Arizona.  Bopped into McDonald’s for breakfast & checked our BLM maps for a spot nearby.  Half an hour later we were westbound for an area near the town of Joshua Tree.  Took us a bit to find the BLM spot but we made it. 

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DRATS!!  WE WERE BACK IN CIVILIZATION AGAIN WITH 4 LANE TRAFFIC & TRAFFIC LIGHTS…..MY FIRST VIEW OF MOUNT JACINTO FROM WEST OF 29 PALMS

The BLM land turned out to be very open in a grassy flat field with no protection from the continuous gusting winds so we did not deploy the slides right away. (touch wood but the big slide has worked flawlessly for the past couple days)  Great 4 bar Verizon connection here so Kelly spent some time catching up her Deer Park Lodge reservations, etc.

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WELL, THIS IS OUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME FOR A DAY OR TWO…WE MAY STAY TUESDAY OR WE MAY NOT…THIS WIND IS BEATING US PRETTY BAD OUT HERE TONIGHT!!

About 1 o’clock we headed through Joshua Trees northwest gate & the true beauty of the trees became immediately apparent.  Backgrounded by large granite rock formations the trees came into their own.  Without the trees the Park would still be a beautiful place but it is the trees that add the touch of magic to Joshua Tree National Park.

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CAN YOU SEE KELLY HUGGING A JOSHUA TREE

Didn’t take long to pull over into a hiking path area & haul the cameras out.  Yep, I  had a problem alright because this place is definitely right at the top of the WOW factor list.  Again, I thought of the saying, ‘with every step, a thousand photographs.’  The creative photographic possibilities were endless.  This is a place a person would have to come & stay for  awhile to capture the sunrises & the sunsets.  The cloudy days as well as the sunlit ones.  Faces in the rocks & the moodiness of the skies give the Joshua Trees their individual personalities.  No two trees alike & there is no conformity or routine in their pattern.

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Stopped to watch some young folks climbing rocks.  Lots of tents tucked into areas especially set aside for rock climbers.  A lot of these gentle climbs are doable for older folks as well.

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GREAT PLACE FOR ROCK CLIMBING ENTHUSIASTS

The down side of the day was the weather.  I prefer cooler days for hiking but at the higher altitude in the Park coupled with the high winds it was darn right cold out today.  Made a few more stops for pics & then headed for a place called Keys View.

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Gained more altitude & we could tell the wind gusts were picking up.  As we approached Keys View, we like many others, were deceived by the warm sun shining in the car.  Little did we realize the intensity of the winds ripping up the mountain side & razoring across Keys View. 

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3 VERY QUICK PHOTOS FROM THE KEYS OVERLOOKING THE WIND BLOWN & DUSTY COACHELLA VALLEY BELOW

Could hardly get the Jeep door open against the wind.  Immediately scrambled around for a jacket in the back plus a warm woolen hat for my head.  Already had on a T-shirt with a flannelette shirt but put on a second flannelette shirt plus my photo vest.  And, I had a hard time even getting them on because of the icy winds blowing me around.  But, the worst was yet to come.

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LARGE DARK HORIZONTAL OBJECT IN ABOVE CENTER OF PICTURE IS PART OF THE SAN ANDREAS FAULT

Kelly just took a short run over to a wall to peek over into the Coachella Valley below & ran right back to the Jeep.  I  put my head down & bent myself into the wind making my way up a small hill to a viewing area.  Before I even reached the top I was ready to go back again but pushed on.  Reached an area between two reader boards & I have to say that in my entire life I have never experienced stronger winds than those sweeping over that ridge.  It was probably the only time I was ever glad of my excess weight or I could easily have been upside down on the ground.  Cracked off 3 quick photos plus a couple more as I hurried back to the Jeep.  We decided right there & then to end our day in the Park & get ourselves back to the rig.  A few more quick photos on the way out & we were headed home.

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ME TAKING A PICTURE OF KELLY WHILE SHE IS TAKING A PICTURE OF ME:))

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Winds were not as bad at the Motor Home & the air was definitely warmer.  But, that didn’t last long.  Just after sunset the winds geared up once again with dropping temperatures.  We had positioned the rig to protect the large slide which was a good thing but we did have to pull the bedroom slide in.  It made a wee bit of a binding sound so hope the wind gusts haven’t shifted anything.  And, just to stir the pot a little further……our refrigerator wasn’t working when we got back this afternoon.  Oh dear, think I’m going to be seasick because this coach is rocking from side to side now

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TWINKLING LIGHTS IN THE MORONGO VALLEY

GROANER’S CORNER:((  And speaking of the weather….. An honest weatherman says, "Today's forecast is bright and sunny with an 80% chance that I'm wrong."

23 comments:

  1. Too bad the wind was so strong today but you persevered and got some great photos. I remember how cold and windy it was up on the look-out. Hope the wind dies down so you can spend some more time exploring the park in a more comfortable atmosphere. I so enjoyed looking at your photos tonight. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I really appreciate your pictures, especially since I don't have to be out there in the wind and cold to see the views.

    I loved the tents - the kind where the rainfly goes all the way down to the ground. Trouble is, I can't crawl in and out of them as easily any more.

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  3. hope the winds die down soon since you are at such a magnificent place...

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  4. Hope you guys get th fridge working without a lot of expense, always something, Eh. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna...

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  5. One thing I hate is wind when camping...but your photos are sooo wonderful...We really need to do more "California Dreamin'"....Thanks for the tour,

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  6. Too bad about those horrible winds. :( I've never been to Joshua Tree, but have always wanted to go there.

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  7. Joshua Tree is a wonderful place, isn't it! Too bad you guys are getting the same wind we got yesterday and as I look out the window this morning, the trees are dancing again. Hope you get the refrigerator issues solved.

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  8. My very best photo from Joshua Tree was many years ago, and I probably will never see it again. I sat on one side of a Joshua tree while the sun slowly rose directly on the other side, so that the tree was silhouetted. Splendid! You are sure right - the sunrise and sunset times will bring wonderful photo opps.

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  9. Thanks for the shout out.
    Your experience at Joshua Tree is much like mine was December 6-13, 2009. I had just started my life as a Fulltimer in my Teardrop and it was getting blown around pretty good in it. Made me re-think the whole Fulltimer decision and concluded that it was way too early to give up before I really got started.
    I got snow while I was there sure hope your weather improves and you can enjoy the Park.

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  10. Love the pictures :) especially the last one.
    I understand that wind, we got it too. God is sure moving some real estate around right now.
    phxmtngirl

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  11. Beautiful pictures but I'm sure sorry your weather is so lousy. Joshua Tree is such a wonderful place and I wish you guys had a chance to enjoy it.

    We had 55 mph gusts here in Las Vegas last night. Not fun. It's calmed down today some so hopefully it's about over with for all of us.

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  12. Love, love, love Joshua Tree! Thanks for sharing all those gorgeous shots! By the way have you discovered the "optimize image" function on your new D90? I use it on the D80 and really love it. I changed sharpen to +1 and color settings to IIa (gives more vivid colors). Nina

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  13. Ooops...slight miss-write on that last comment. I meant color setting IIIa. I find it saturates the colors nicely. Nina

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  14. This wind is something and it can dissipate away ANYTIME! IT is just draining. We have pulled our slides in, too. We loved the Keys view lookout. Thanks for letting us know about a spot near 29 Palms - awesome!

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  15. That wind was really something!!! Don't u LOVE those trees? And the Cholla?

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  16. I have to tell you that I wet my drawers the first time I heard George Carlin to that "stuff" sketch. It is absolutely hysterical. I heard it years ago. Also, I had the immense pleasure of doing some soil survey work in Joshua Tree NP. The survey is still going on there and the landscape/vegetation patterns are fascinating. It's an incredibly park and your photos do it justice. I hope the winds die down when we get there at the end of March. Whew!

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  17. A place for my STUFF... That has been my favorite "act" of George Carlins.
    We were hit with strong winds here in SW New mexico yesterday too. We strapped the shelter to the truck because it was swaying and we didnt want it in the house!
    Awesome pics!

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  18. Great pictures of the park. We need to visit.

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  19. That sunset makes the whole day of wind worth it!

    I'm really really looking forward to seeing more great sunsets when we get out time on the road.

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  20. Nice pictures up at Park... it is a great spot to visit and you need a few days... sorry to hear about the wind, it must have blown up from Borrego Springs... keep the lid tied down!

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  21. You have beautiful pics.. I am looking forward to heading up to Joshua Tree in the next week or two but I doubt my pics will be that good!

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  22. I NEED to be in that boondocking spot. Please email me your exact GPS coordinates so only I know where this place is. Please turn out the wind on your way out.

    Great pictures.

    Roxanne
    The Good Luck Duck

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  23. Amazing view in this picture. The road looks stunning with some desert view. Joshua Tree National Park is located in the southeastern California. It is very beautiful park and a part of the tourists attractions. Joshua Tree National Park offers visitors endless opportunities for exploration and discovery.

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