Sunday, July 26, 2015

Skull Rock Trail-A Fun Hike

This is one of the most popular hikes in Joshua Tree National Park. Whenever you pass by, there are tons of cars and hordes of people all over the rocks. I like to go early (around 5:30 a.m.), in the summer, so I can wander freely without the crush. The trail is easy, loping along from Skull Rock over to the Jumbo Rocks campground. I usually go that far, then turn around and cut across country to explore the various canyons and valleys nearby. When I started out this morning, the sun hadn't quite come up over the rocks, so I shot some pictures with the sun behind the rocks, which gave them a glowing quality, with the colors somewhat muted in character. It also brought out this wonderful, vibrant blue in the sky. I like the overall effect and the 'moody' feeling of this series. It's funny, you can return to the same places again and again, at different times of the year and there's always something new to discover in Joshua Tree National Park.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Off The Beaten Track at Split Rock

I started out early to go on the Split Rock Trail, but when I got there, the gates were closed. So... I headed up the road a piece and found a little pull-out and decided to hike in from there. As usual, I got waylaid on the way and never did make it to Split Rock proper. I ended up exploring this group of rocks in the valley before you get to Split Rock. I kind of like it when I get side tracked from my original goal. I'm always delighted to explore something new. I came up on the first set of rocks and thought, 'that's nice', 'this looks like an interesting area.' It was. Full of interesting shapes, textures and vegetation. I spent about 2 hours just walking, stopping, looking and listening to the birds and the morning wind. When the light began to get a little mucky, I sat down for a while at a high point and just took in the valley below. It's always nice to just stop and sit awhile, no need to rush.

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.