On Monday the 7th I left PINN heading south on I-5. It was 1211pm. At what time would I be arriving in the metro-LA area. Um, RUSHTIME. How the hell do you people that live in cities like LA deal with that traffic day in and day out. I called my friends because when you are going less than zero miles an hour according to my speedometer there is no need to pay attention. And then the traffic clears for a minute and rushes up to 90 before slamming back on the brakes for another hour. How, please explain to me.
I was heading down to the San Diego area for some training, but I figured since the training didn't start until the 9th and I had the 8-10th off, I would make a detour. So I made a 3 hour detour over to Joshua Tree National Park (JOTR) and to stay at the A&A Bed and Breakfast. Of course not a real B&B, but friends that I've kept in touch with so I'd have a place to crash. So about 9pm I rolled into JOTR and drove around the small housing area looking for Utah plates. Since there were only a few houses, it wasn't that difficult. Getting their attention was a little more difficult since they were in the backyard burning papers from their move. After some chats and catching up, I headed to bed in a comfortable bed unlike the prison mattress I sleep on.
I found that in southern California the sun comes up a lot earlier than northern California. And so when I walked out to the kitchen I was hoping it was like 8, but instead found out it was 645. AH Damn IT! So I chatted some more, had a brown sugar poptart with butter (something new to A&A), and some juice. Oh yea, in this B&B I had to make my own food. After spending some time with the dogs, I headed out to do some hiking in the park. This was my first time to the park and definitely will not be my last. Unfortunately, I have an injured leg so I just did little Interpretive hikes in the area.
I would be driving along when all of the sudden a bunch of rocks would appear. I took the short 1/2 mile hike to the Arch Rock. And in between all of it the desert would bloom in so many different ways. After this short hike, I headed out to the Barker Dam . And honestly, I did not and could not imagine a dam in the middle of the desert, but I was amazed at it all. In the park, there are several dams. And more than anything I was surprised to see water in the desert. I also saw some petroglyphs however they were vandalized.
After the hike, I drove up the dirt road to the gate to the Keys Ranch. There was a park ranger there and she said I could stop by and may be there would be room for me to do the interpretive hike. I didn't drop the parkie name at that moment. Looking back I should have because I would have gotten a much longer and more thorough tour. Come to find out that when BF worked at JOTR, she did as well. Anyway, I did another quick hike through the Hidden Valley before returning to the Keys Ranch.
When I went back for the tour, I dropped the parkie thingy and then BF's name and it started the ball rolling. I was then her little assistant.
After the tour, I headed out to the highway and started my way through the back roads to training. I believe I passed through some beautiful areas, but considering it was dark I am not sure.
Tomorrow I leave the southern California for my journey north. Along the way, I hope I don't see an accident like I saw on the way down and I hope I don't have to deal with an individual like I dealt with involved in that accident. N said this to me tonight "You've seen a lot for your age". And I had to answer with I'm thankful that my father could provide me with those opportunities when I was younger and instilled in me the adventure sense. So check out some more photos: http://mtnbkaz.photosite.com/