Saturday, July 4, 2015

Crawling Around and Over The Rocks at Stirrup Tank

This was an area I always knew as the 'Day Use Only' area, because I never knew the name of it. This time, I looked on a map and saw Stirrup Tank Road, so I figured this must be the area where Stirrup Tank is... of course I've never found it. I always get too involved in crawling around in the rocks here.   You can just head off in any direction and find something interesting, the rocks here come in all different shapes, with some great views once you get up top. To get here, head towards Cottonwood, past Twin Tanks pullout and it's the next dirt road to the right. It's easy to spend the whole day here just clambering around to your heart's content.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Seen From Afar-A New Place To Explore

While riding our bikes up the hill past Ryan Mountain, I always look over at these rocky hills on the other side of the road and think, 'We've never explored that area before', so the other morning, I got up early and took a walk over there to see 'what was what'. Lo and behold, it's a great area to roam about. There's so much interesting vegetation and beautiful rock formations, with little valleys off to each side. If you don't feel like climbing Ryan, then take a walk here some time. I think you'll find it very rewarding. Pack a lunch and stay awhile.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Cap Rock. An Icon in Joshua Tree National Park

Every time I slowly bicycle past Cap Rock I am in awe. When you enter in to Hidden Valley in the early morning, you can see it glowing white, lit up, like some chalky, ancient city on the distant plain. As you approach, the rock itself appears to be some sort of mythical, Griffin-like creature resting atop the boulders that form it's base, or nest. It looks carved out of the rock like some sort of statue, so perfect and grand. Needless to say, I find this rock and it's environs fascinating. It continually changes through the day and all year long. As you move up close and then away, it becomes more abstract amongst the various shapes and textures of the surrounding rocks. It's our little Acropolis in Joshua Tree National Park.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Intriguing Rocks at Sheep's Pass

Sheep's Pass is an area I love to re-visit at various times of the year. I like to head off in a different direction each time to see what I find. The rocks here are particularly interesting in color and shape. They feel so prehistoric, like they've just surfaced and are still cooling off, with their jagged edges and deep, rich coloration. This time, I found a small cluster of such rocks in one single area and spent some 'quality time' with them. It's always worth it to get off the 'beaten track' and just wander about, you never know what you'll find.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Noble Pinyon Pine

This morning I went in early to wander about and focus on Pinyon Pines, one of my favorite trees in Joshua Tree National Park. You start seeing them in quantity when you enter Hidden Valley, tucked high up in the rocks, a lone Pine at a point, or in clusters lower down near the trail. Each one seems to have it's own unique character. When I see one delineated against the sky amongst the shapely rocks, I'm reminded of Asian scroll paintings. Due to our changing climate, they are struggling more than ever to survive in our harsh but beautiful desert.