Monday, January 18, 2010

Joshua Tree

A Saturday morning sunrise greeted a packed-out Jetta eastbound on the 10 towards Palm Springs and "Other Desert Cities", as according to our exit options. We drove through a wind farm, where thousands of windmills were harvesting wind energy, and into the sleepy town of JTree just waking up.

Joshua Tree National Park looks kind of like a foreign planet. It's a bare desert scattered with piles of boulders on gravely sand and poked with scantily leaved joshua trees. We found a free site in Jumbo Rocks and set up camp. Jarod and Luke headed for Intersection Rock for a full day of climbing. I read in the tent and kept a wary eye on Taiga, who is now an overprotective watchdog. I visited with other fellow campsite dwellers, who hailed from Vancouver to Peru to San Diego and relaxed the day away. At dusk, we headed out of the park for water. At the park exit we found a 25 cent spicket for 50 seconds of blasting water. Lids off and containers ready, we got our 6 gallons of water and 3 pairs of soaked pants, all in under a minute. Dinner was at climber-hangout Santana's. Mexican was tasty, but the Asian girl sitting behind us was much more appealing to Luke than his burrito. Between accents, language barriers, and hand gestures, the guys concluded that she was probably a deaf Japanese women on vacation for a few months... and that her name was either Addi or Alli.. verdict is still out. We retired early, only to wake up at least 6 times throughout the nite. The first one was to Taiga charging out of the tent, ferociously barking, hair raised and straight up mad. Coyotes were midnight snacking on her left overs. We called her off, but throughout the night, she was on guard duty and growling at every little crack and creak outside. In between her growling fits, there was a baby in the tent nextdoor who cried most of the night. At 6am, the crying baby started up again and was only interrupted by Keenan's father saying, "Keenan, Keenan. Really, Keenan? Keenan, stop it! Keenan, quit. Please quit, Keenan." At 7:30am, we could no longer push out Keenan's crying and Taiga's growling, thus began Sunday morning.

Sunday was a chilly day with warm sunshine. The guys climbed and I sat at the base of the routes, watching Taiga and reading. At one point, I could see 4 coyotes scattered in the desert howling and yelping and screeching to each other. Taiga looked perturbed. In the afternoon, the temperature was rapidly dropping and the storm clouds started rolling in. We had heard that So Cal was in for a five day rainy season. We debated back and forth and forth and back about 15 times as whether to stay and wait it out or go. We decided to pack up and go. At the sun set and the last sleeping bag was stuffed into the trunk, the rain started dropping.. And dropping.. and dropping. We left the park to the steady dripping of rain on the windshield.


Luke Edgerton said...

Im pretty sure it was Addi...I should have given her my number.

Judy and Scott S. said...

busy couple of days. poor Keenan....and poor phone call from Addi!

Jesstor said...

Dude, bummer Luke. You should have given me a call; I'm great at translating Asian! It's part of what I inherit for being engaged to one!