Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014: Still sitting on the BLM land at Joshua Tree National Park. We’ve had two real windy days, where we put the driver side slides in and Curt even put some of the solar panels flat. Now today it’s cloudy, so we’re not getting much for solar power, but it works good when it’s sunny. We went into the Park last Friday. They say it takes 2 hours to get from one entrance to the other (south/north) without any stops. That’s probably because most of the speed limits are 35-40 mph and there are lots of twisty roads (instead of driving a straight road through the desert).  We did some stops along the way and even took a 4-wheel drive road again.

The Cottonwood Springs Visitor Center is 7 miles from the south entrance, elevation 3079 ft.

lots of abandoned mines in the area

The southern part of the park is mostly flat desert valley
Ocotillo tree
Ocotillo leaves

All of a sudden there's Cholla cactus on both sides of the road
Part of the area is fenced with a trail for people to walk through the Cholla garden

One of the many mines in the park 

We are driving from the Colorado Desert into the Mojave Desert. Now the landscape and plants change

strange rock piles

The Joshua trees for which the park is named

Skull  Rock

and we're climbing in altitude

Rock climbing is a popular activity here

San Andreas Fault Zone (earthquakes)
This is the view at Keye's View at an elevation of 5185 ft, south outside of the park area 

Hazy, but you can see over 20 miles
A gold prospector's grave, who died in 1925

Lots of Joshua trees and rocks
More rock climbers

These climbers are "walking" from rock to rock!
The Geology Tour Road (4-wheel drive)

Our sunset

Thursday, January 2, 2014

01/02/2014:  We spent our New Years working on bookwork and doing year-end stuff. (No TV reception here, but at least we can use our internet.) Curt adjusted the solar panels to try to find the “right” tilt for maximum use. We haven’t gone into Joshua Tree National Park yet; waiting for the holiday people to be done. There’s a lot of traffic on this road. I don’t know if they’re all going to visit the park, or if some of the cars just go through to the other towns on the north side instead of driving all the way around through Indio, etc. We must have seen over 40 motorcycles go in to the park yesterday. It was windy yesterday, but other than that it’s been in the upper 60’s in the day time, 40’s at night. Maybe 7 or 8 campers here. I talked to my Dad in North Dakota tonight, he said it is supposed to get 40 below Monday night. I don't know if that's wind chill or actual temp, but I can't imagine any person or animal outside in that weather. It's been a long winter already for some of the states. 

 the back side of the solar panels

 Must have been the jet traffic area this morning