Still in California, for a few more hours. It will be an exciting moment when I cross the state line and enter Arizona. And only my family will understand how funny that is, me celebrating going to Arizona!
But first, there’s a weekly update to do, so let’s get to it. When last we checked, I was hanging at Salton Sea, enjoying a kayak paddle, the sun, and, well, more sun. I even had a short-sleeved t-shirt on at one point.
Then I moved to Joshua Tree. It started out quite well, driving through the amazing Box Canyon and then through most of the park itself on my way to the campground.
Ah, the campground. This is one of those where I didn’t do enough research. It was not actually IN the park, but next to it. So you can hike into the park but if you want to drive around, it’s a 15 minute trip to the entrance. Oh, well, I thought. And then I hit the campground roads. And I do mean hit.
I had a pull-through site, on the end of the row, and got lucky because it only took me 4 tries to level the trailer. The poor couple next to me gave up and left because they couldn’t get their rig leveled. And the poor people next to them popped out their truck’s back window jack-knifing as they tried to make the tight turn into their spot. Sometimes it pays to have a tiny trailer.
And then the storms started. One, then a second, with wind and rain so hard that my trailer was rocking and rolling most of the day and night. I literally spent 24 hours in my trailer, with just one brief walk where I tried to get some hiking in, but I got chased back to my little house on wheels when the wind tried to blow me sideways. The next day I could see how big that storm was by the new snow on the mountains.
Saturday was a break between storms 2 and 3, so I made the most of it by driving back into the park and taking some photos. It seemed like everyone had that idea and traffic and parking at the popular spots was intense. I made it up to the Key View lookout and was rewarded with a spectacular panorama of the Coachella desert, Palm Springs, and Mount San Jacinto.
Sunday, the third storm slid in, but late enough that I made the move from Black Rock Canyon to Joshua Tree Lake RV park with minimal rain on my head. Why move? Power, baby, power. This spot has electricity and water, and I’m all over that after 4 days of solar in stormy weather. And it’s wide open with dark skies, so now that the storms are done, I’m thoroughly enjoying the starlit, moonless nights, and the sunsets that usher them in.
Tuesday was one last trip through the park. While it was sunny and blue skies at the campsite, the park itself was all clouds and light and I had an amazing time taking photos and enjoying the views. (Weekdays are definitely better for park visits!) I am working on a separate post featuring those images, so here’s one to whet your appetite.
Now I’m off to Quartzsite for a long weekend, my first time in the melee that is snowbirds and others living for free on BLM land. Not sure what will happen, but I bet it will be amazing.
I will not be ‘famous,’ ‘great.’ I will go on adventuring, changing, opening my mind and my eyes, refusing to be stamped and stereotyped. The thing is to free one’s self: to let it find its dimensions, not be impeded.
Virginia Woolf, A Writer’s Diary