Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Parking at the Park

We spent several days relaxing and taking in Spring weather and super warm conditions at our hovel on the south side of J-Tree.  We were quite happy at that location.  There was even an evening in there where we met our friend, Ken, at a local Casino to catch up on the goings on since we last saw each other.  And then it dawned on us.  Most people who come to National Parks spend their time INSIDE the park.  So, off we went on a  drive from south to north to see what there was to see and to park outside the park again (of course).  And here’s what we saw…

IMG_1092 A desert oasis.
Holes in the rock where people long ago used to grind food items.
Desert creatures trying hard not to become dessert creatures.
A Cactus with a View.
A ‘Double Barrel’ Cactus… packs twice the punch.
Boy is he one lucky dude to have scored this little lady.
Their dating scene has got to be rough and with hair like that who’d-a-thunk-it?!
Birds who are REALLY serious about keeping their little ones predator free.
This nest is surrounded by thorn covered branches.
Things you wouldn’t expect to see…
The Yucca-ness Monster, perhaps?
Great places to sit and enjoy sounds of nature.
More ridiculously pretty sunsets…
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Signs that tell you what not to do.
Our friend Annie once said, “If someone told you not to touch the electric fence,
Nicole, you’d still touch it just to see for yourself.”
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Apparently, Darlene would touch the fence too!
They’re Teddy Bears… how could you not try to hug them?!
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Teddy Bears which by the way grow ridiculously tall in these parts and reproduce like rabbits!
Speaking of rabbits…
We watched as this old guy (a black tailed jack) slowly walk (he could no longer hop) in what looked to be a painful and arthritic way to a little nook under two cacti where he lay down and closed his eyes.  Sad and yet sweet.
Long-legged people looking for something on this rock.
Climbers who are way more hard-core than us.
We no longer brave the frigid temps just to get on a route.
and, of course, Trees Named Joshua!
Lots of them!

Now, let’s talk about the weather… We’ll talk about it but be aware that it may change before we are done!  We arrived at J-Tree and were spoiled with spring blooms and hot hot temps.  Thinking we might settle in the area for a bit longer we opted for a location at the north side blm property because it is closer to the climbing areas.  Our first day we decide to relax, enjoy the blm location and get some ‘this and that’ work done on the van.


We  were surprised to see no cacti in this area and grasses that made it look more like Kansas.  About 1/2 a day into a super productive first day we broke for lunch and noted that one peak off in the distance actually had snow on it.
And then it happened.  The wind started to blow.  Not in that way it does when it is time to move (although we admit, we eventually did).  It was blowing more in that way it does when there is something brewing.  With in a couple of hours, the temps had dropped significantly.  The wind continued to pick up forcing us inside and lasting until well after dark.  As a result, everything outside became covered in a thick layer of desert sand.  The next morning…
quite a few more peaks were snow covered.  A quick check of the upcoming forecast revealed that the current blast was here to stay for a bit and it was indeed time for us to move on!
Seeing this guy as we drove out of J-Tree only served to reinforce our decision.