Our Location: Joshua Tree National Park BLM, West entrance, California
I woke up at 5:21 am MST. I know this because when my eyes opened my mind started working and sleep was no longer on the agenda. Since I knew I was awake for now at least, the first thing I did was look at the time. Funny how we get into habits isn’t it? It’s one of those things I’ve always done, eyes open, look at the time.
|This morning's sunrise at Dome Rock BLM, Quartzsite, Az|
|It sure is pretty, huh?|
Since it took me a long time to post my blog last night I didn’t have a chance to read any blogs and that’s what I’m going to do as soon as I finish starting this post.
|A sticker...up close and personal...|
|Love the cactus in the sunrise .....|
Today is moving day of course and we are looking forward to seeing around the next bend and over the next rise. Always fun to see what it is, don’t you think? I’m pretty certain my mother’s mother must have been a foot loose, wandering Gypsy in some other life because in her last one she travelled whenever she could. She would hop on a bus and cross the country with out any worries or hesitation. Distance had no meaning to her, and although I don’t ever remember her driving any automobile she was the most travelling woman I knew. Even as an old lady she still enjoyed travel and would often ride behind my dad on his quad. Her only problem was getting on and off, not in the going part. So I’m pretty certain I managed to get a bit of her wandering blood in my veins. To quote J.R.R. Tolkein, “ Not all who wander are lost” and while Grandma could get lost going around a tree, I have a pretty good sense of direction, perhaps that comes from people always telling me where to go!
|Sunrise near the Igloo....|
|Our neighbours camper during sunrise at Dome Rock.|
Outside just before 7 am to catch the sunrise and it was still just a bit dark at that time. It was light enough however to see, not far ahead but still able to discern what was in front of me for a number of feet. I managed to move through the wash and onto the flat behind us to catch some great pictures. I started moving forward to the end of our flat area to take some more pictures, in a certain spot it’s absolutely perfect for view lines. It’s now about 7:20 am (MST) and the folks in the mini van are starting to stir. To my absolutely amazement they were walking around with flashlights. I couldn’t believe it. I could see for a long ways, not quite day light yet but it was bright enough to see where you were walking with no difficulty. To my utter disbelief I noticed one of them even had a headlamp on. You know the ones that you attach to a hat or wear with a band around your head. I was surprised to say the least.
|Another hour time difference to add to the clock...|
|California Agriculture Inspection Station at AZ/Cal state line...|
After catching the morning rays peeping over the edge, I headed inside where Riley was up and had our hot drinks already made. I had already packed up my bedroom, but I still had the bathroom to do as well as some of the kitchen/living room area. So while we were sipping, I was also packing things away as well. As soon as our drinks were finished I was outside to disconnect the heater and do the last few things to finish before hooking up.
|Pretty mountains and sandy desert.....|
|I am as amazed now as I was the first time I seen mountains like this....|
We pulled out of our spot at 8:49 am (MST), reached Dome Rock Road by 9 am and headed back toward Q so we could catch the I-10 at the over pass by the Love’s truck stop. We were well on our way except we didn’t have any specific directions to our next location. I just knew we needed to find Cottonwood Springs Road. I was pretty certain it would be very well signed, and of course it is signed, however I also knew we needed Exit 168.
|Tight fit on this lane with those cones where they are....|
|On a long and lonesome highway....|
We stopped at the last rest stop in Arizona for a quick check around just to ensure everything was going well. We of course already had done our walk around but I like to do it again at all stops. We passed into California at 9:52 am (MST) and set the clocks back one hour to 8:52 am (PST). So it was like we were just leaving home again.
|I didn't touch the colour, this is how it came from the camera...|
|Looking out Riley's bedroom window....|
We were passing through the agriculture check point and while they didn’t ask any questions I did. Fruits and certain veggies can and will be confiscated unless you can prove they were grown in California. Example, all red apples, such as Mac’s, Red Delicious, etc are fine to bring, but all green apples will be taken. (I offered up my one green apple). Absolutely no citrus fruits can be brought in. There were a number of items on the list but those ones I remember. I also had one russet potato that was okay to bring in. It doesn’t matter if it was purchased in a grocery store or home grown, if you can’t prove it was grown in California or acceptable states they can take it. Now they may not have checked if I hadn’t asked and I’m pretty certain they would have let me take my apple but I explained it was a Granny Smith apple for lunch. My lunch today was without that apple.
|South of us toward I-10.|
|Hey that's us!!!|
The point I’m making here is that IF they want to search, I believe they can, and they can take anything on the list if it’s not PROVEN to be grown in California or an acceptable state. I wanted to know for own peace of mind and now I know. The nice young fella that took my apple explained that he too was learning and he thought that if was purchased in a grocery store that it was okay to bring in, so we both learned something today. Of course I’m simply offering up what I learned and I’m certain its probably very much like crossing the international border, if you get the wrong person you could end up being searched and things may end up being taken. However how often that happens I have no idea.
|Blooms in the desert....|
|Up close on those flowers.....|
So we were back on the road quickly after I handed over my apple, and we enjoyed the scenery. We’ve climbed in elevation and are currently at over 1200 feet. The temps are bit cooler, which is nicer but there is also a breeze which is helping as well.
|Looking south along the big wash just past our door....|
|Noticed this cactus growing here...but just one....|
We found our exit with out any difficulties and turned Right toward Joshua Tree Park and noticing the power lines we took the first left. Keeping Doug Laning’s (Miss Adventure Travels ) excellent idea in mind, I parked the Dogsled with the Igloo remaining faithfully to the rear and walked the next little bit to ensure I could find a place to turn around. Riley stayed behind, not wanting to walk. I found a couple of spots that looked promising but we took the second one. It’s between two roads and since we aren’t staying too long it will be just fine.
|Sunset here at Joshua Tree Park BLM, Ca|
|Love this tree, stripped of all leaves makes a perfect focus point during the sunset...|
It was shortly before noon CALIFORNIA time that we finished everything, including setting every thing up and Riley had already started prepping lunch. I called my dad at 11:49 am (according to my call log) and that was after we were all set up. So as you can guess we have cell and internet service here. AT&T is our cell carrier and so far it’s all good.
|Sunset here at Joshua Tree Park BLM, West Enttance...|
|Just love it...|
Lunch today was excellent, a nice green salad, Parm Cheese grilled potatoes wedges, mixed veggies with Oregano and Thyme, along with a nice sweet ham steak, and I cooked up some mild sweet sausages as well. The sausages will be good for a light dinner later or we can use them in another dish.
After lunch we headed out for a walk. We haven’t been walking much at all and so we both made an agreement that we will walk at least an hour a day, every day and we will once again be watching portion sizes much closer than we have been. We found only one other spot that we like on this stretch of road where we are parked.
The door side is in the shade all day and that will hopefully help with the fridge as it seemed we went through a lot of propane over the last couple of weeks. We have full sun on our living room side but we’ll keep the shades down all day to help block the heat. That will make the entire Igloo a much nicer temperature in the afternoon. With the windows open as well as vents and door we have a very nice breeze moving thru.
So we are settled in and we’ve already been talking about tomorrow’s walk, always a good sign. We have plans to visit Janet & Dennis on Friday during the day. After that I’m not sure what our plans are but we plan on doing a bit of shopping for groceries as well. Janet says they have a Trader Joe’s which I’ve always heard people rave about so we’ll be stopping by there for certain to check that out.
|Our neighbours little Air Stream in the sunset....|
|Top of an Ocotillo stalk...|
Back home after our walk we sat down to read for a bit, and rest. The sun is hot here in the desert sands of California. We need to pace ourselves better and walk in the morning hours, not after lunch.
I called my sister while sitting outside, she was curled up under a blanket back home on the Island and telling me that they had been without electric power a few days ago when a small hydro sub station caught fire and burnt one morning. About half of the townships of Assiginack, Tehkummah, and the Wikemokong reservation was without power for about 15 hours during a day that was -35C/ -31F. They will be without power once again tomorrow night from midnight until 8 am while Hydro workers work at rebuilding part of the sub station’s switches, etc. We chatted for about 30 minutes.
|Almost looks like little pebbles doesn't it?|
|This is the type of cactus the above pictures taken from....|
I also called my dad again, as I didn’t talk to him earlier, but had left a message with Marion. Dad and I chatted for about 15 minutes catching up on the news, he too was without power due to the same fire. He says it’s supposed to warm up but will snow, rain and perhaps see a day or two of sunshine. Always interesting weather on that rock in the middle of Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay region.
A text message to my sister in law Janet has us visiting on Friday and we’ll hopefully arrive fairly early in the day to get a chance for a good visit. We won’t be staying overnight, but will be coming back home.
As I was chatting on the phone a few new folks pulled in, and one is just across the small roadway from us. A nice little baby Air Stream, all sparkly and shiny new. The couple have a small child with them as well. Probably not walking yet but definitely crawling age.
|Love the pinks over there.....|
|Don't you just love the colours there?|
As sunset approached I grabbed the camera and headed off to walk along the top of the of the levee and catch the show. It didn’t disappoint in the least. Our first night here at Joshua Tree BLM saw the sky painted in hues of pinks, reds, oranges, and yellows. I’ve even noticed a few cactus but nothing tall and stately, only a few little low growing cactus so far. I’ll have a better look around tomorrow.
|In the north off to my right me as I walked along the levee...|
So back home after sunset to edit a lot of pictures and write this post. I can tell you we are both exhausted and I’m absolutely certain it’s the desert heat because other than a walk we haven’t really done much except set up ‘home dirt’ as George (Our Awesome Travels) would say.
Just an FYI, our cell service is AT&T works fine here, ranging from 2-4 bars. The Verizon jet pack also works with 2-3 bars as well. We have no booster of any kind. We are located at the West Entrance (GPS lists North or West), on the south side of the park but north of the Interstate. We are to the west of the entrance road, a couple of sights before the wash causes the road to dead end. A road to the north of us goes much further, it’s where we took our walk today.
|Sunset at Joshua Tree Park, BLM....our first night...|
Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed your visit. Feel free to drop a comment, I read them all and comment as well.
Until next time… take care, be safe,