I talked Margie in to a new hike the other day. At first, she was grousing, said we'd already been there, but afterwords, she admitted it was pretty fun. You park at the information board just before Split Rock and head off north toward the rocks and canyons in the distance. You end up in Queen Valley Wash and just follow it up to John's Camp and The Gold Hill Mine. If you want to do more exploring in this area, just keep heading up the wash, there's lots to see. For more information check out Cali49's blog: http://cali49.com/jtnp/2014/3/26/gold-hill-mine
I awoke yesterday morning to a blazing sky and thought, I have to get in to the park! So I drove in and as soon as I got to where I wanted to take my walk, the sun disappeared behind the clouds. Typical. But I thought, the air is so cool and moist, I'll just take a nice walk out and see what I find. What's not to love. I couldn't take the usual 'landscape' photos because the light was soft, so I just concentrated on the details: What was close in, what was at my feet, as I walked along the edge of the rocks. I found a lot to focus on and had a very nice morning. Now home to breakfast!
This is one of my favorite areas to explore early on a Saturday morning. I park at the pull-out just past Split Rock and head in to the rocks to see what I can find. I usually, only have a couple of hours before breakfast, so I just find an area and 'work it'. I love just getting in all the little crooks and crannies of the rocks, taking my time and enjoying the cool morning air. I usually discover something new, something different I hadn't seen before. Always a treat.
I wanted to show Margie this one area I discovered the other day between Wall St. Mill and Wonderland Ranch. In between, there's an old truck that we started from and walked in to this horseshoe shaped valley. We just walked along the edges seeing what was there. It's full of Pinyon Pines, Scrub Oaks and Manzanitas, a beautiful valley to just wander about. Along the way, we ran in to this foundation (complete with basement) out in the middle of a field. Not sure if it was a building or house. Did it belong to Will Bagley, who scuffled with Bill Keys... who knows. As we kept pushing along we came up over a ridge and there we were at the Wall St. Mill (which is now surrounded by barbed wire to keep the destroyers out). I didn't recognize where we were at first, until I saw the old cars under the trees. Before the barbed wire, you could get inside the mill and putter around to see how things worked. I took some photos and then we headed back across country to the car. All in all, a nice Sunday morning walk.
We've been doing a little exploring in the area near Echo Rock in Joshua Tree National Park lately. One morning we went straight to the east and around this large rock formation, following along the edge and came to what we call a 'lava flow' of rock. It just pours out from the rocks above creating this wonderful surface to walk on and explore all the little gullies and crevasses there. I kept going back to get more pictures and now it's one of our favorite spots to explore.