Sunday, February 24, 2008

Chilled coeds, on the rocks

We are at the Belle campground in Joshua Tree National Park (map).

We got a late start again yesterday from the Elks, mostly on account of the great refrigerator defrost project. As we were packing up to leave, a car pulled up to chat -- readers Bob and Molly, who were staying at the 29 Palms RV Park, happened to pass by us on the road in their car, and dropped in to say hello. (It was great to meet you, and thanks for stopping by.)

We had a nice drive into the park, although it's actually quite a serious climb. On our last visit here, we made the loop of the northern section of the park. This time, we made the left at the Pinto "Y" to head south. Our original thought had been to continue almost all the way through the park to stay at the Cottonwood campground, near the south visitors' center. Realizing that it was Saturday night, in high season, and that Cottonwood could very well be full or fully reserved (and mindful that Bob and Molly had told us the ranger expressed concerns about getting their 40' rig in there), we decided to pull in to this first campground on the route, at least to check it out.

We got the very last space, which alone made the decision for us to stay put, and not take a chance on Cottonwood. Shortly after we parked, fellow campers Mike and Cissie ( stopped by to chat. They are heading up to Mojave, and we invited them to use our wireless signal to surf over to that park's web site for maps and information. Nice folks, and we will try to say hi next time we are in North Dakota.

When we first pulled in, we observed a number of folks practicing technical climbing on the large rock that is the central feature of this campground. (Joshua Tree is known as a rock climbers' haven, with thousands of interesting formations. Many climbing schools and outfitters train here.) While I was out grilling dinner, one of the climbers wandered over to ask about the rig, and she told me that the whole group consisted of second year pre-meds from USC, just having a girls' weekend out. (The guides they hired were men -- what dedicated professionalism!)

I cautioned them about the NWS forecast, which included high wind advisories for the area starting at 3am last night, as they were all in tents. We even stowed the dish for the night, but we ended up being mostly in the lee of the big rock anyway.

Today we will continue south through the park.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sean & Louise!
    I was so nice to meet and chat with you at the Elks Lodge on Saturday. We hope you're finding and enjoying the wildflowers in JT Park. Our blogsite is
    if you want to see our wildflower adventures, and other travels from Virginia to California.

    Safe travels to you and drop a line if you head to the east coast; we'll steam some crabs or fresh fish for you!!

    Bob & Molly Pinner, Northern Neck of VA


Share your comments on this post! We currently allow anyone to comment without registering. If you choose to use the "anonymous" option, please add your name or nickname to the bottom of your comment, within the main comment box. Getting feedback signed simply "anonymous" is kind of like having strangers shout things at us on the street: a bit disconcerting. Thanks!