Left For Dead In Joshua Tree NP

April 22nd, 2009

I got my taxes squared away. Unfortunately, Johnny was still doing his and seemed like he would be for hours. I wasn’t in any mood to lounge around the camper and decided it was time for some fun. So, I talked Johnny into unhooking the scooter for me and proceeded into Joshua Tree National Park. I wasn’t sure if we were going to drive in there before we left our boondocking area just outside of the park, and I wanted to see a damn Joshua Tree.

White Tank Campground - Joshua Tree NP

After working the scooter through the loose sand, I hit Cottonwood road and headed into the park. It was a pleasant ride, albeit slow. The first part was all up hill and the scooter was moving between 10 and 15mph. It was during this part of the trip that I realized I didn’t bring a jug of water. Not good. Once I made it up to the visitors center it sped up to about 30mph. From then on, it was smooth sailing. I stopped at all of the various markers and checked out some Ocotillo trees in bloom. I was lucky enough to see a rare purple aster that supposedly only grows in this area. The only wildlife I saw were a few lizards and a rabbit. No sheep for me… sigh. After a long ride in the Colorado desert, I finally made it in to the Mojave. I looked at my fuel gauge, but it hadn’t moved. I decided to go all of the way to White Tank Campground.

When I arrived there I was overcome by the scenery. The giant boulders surrounded by Joshua Trees were an awesome sight. I was so entranced I almost didn’t notice the time or my fuel gauge. I didn’t have a clock, but the sun was pretty low in the sky. The gauge read 3/4 tank. I thought, “Plenty of time and fuel, but I should head back.” I got to see a Joshua Tree! Too bad it took 30 miles.

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Carlsbad Caverns

March 29th, 2009

Group Shot - Parks Ranch, NM

I hate to post two stories so close together, but since our internet connection is about to go from ‘two tin cans and a string’ to ‘no one can hear you scream’, I’m going to go ahead and put up the Carlsbad post along with a link to the fancy pictures.

One of the sights we were both looking forward to since we hit the road was Carlsbad Caverns. Neither of us had been here since we were children and while I couldn’t recall anything about the cave, I remember being fascinated throughout the entire trip. Since we’ve taken up caving as a hobby, Carlsbad has taken on the aspect of your run of the mill holy shrine and a required pilgrimage.

We knew our America the Beautiful pass would get us into the Big Room for free, but one day underground wasn’t going to do it. We’re trying to stick to a budget here, so rather than paying for a guided tour of other sections of the cave or other caves in the park, I emailed a couple of people in the local grotto and asked if they had anything going on. It was short notice, but they both responded and took us on two separate trips in two days with two caves each day!

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Mommy, where does the Internet come from?

June 17th, 2008

hummer01

It turns out that our new campsite wasn’t quite as deserted as we had hoped. Every couple of hours this Hummer drives by with a tour group. Since they never come back down past us, I assume they’re just driving a loop through the national forest. A few other folks drive by on occasion, but for the most part, they don’t slow down and point.

As we hadn’t been out for a hike in a while, we decided to hike up one of the less improved roads to the top of the mountain. We were keeping an eye out for a new campsite, hazards we might have trouble crossing with the camper and halfway hoping we were on the right road to reach the lookout tower.

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Water, Water Everywhere

June 11th, 2008

We’ve been in the Nantahala National Forest for nearly a week. We found a beautiful primitive camp site in the Highlands/Franklin, NC area. It’s only downfall is that its a good ten miles from the nearest phone service and internet connection. Since Sunday afternoon, we’ve seen a few people come back in the area to hike, but not a single camper.

I’m sure there will be a few coming in for the weekend just as last weekend, but the sites are quite spread out. Unless you are specifically wanting the single group site with four picnic tables, you can’t hear or see your neighbors except when they drive past.

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Hunting Sites in NC

May 8th, 2008


Still heading south for the bike rally in Myrtle Beach, we spent a couple of nights in North Carolina. Since we had such good luck with WMA’s in Virginia, we figured NC WMA’s would be worth a shot. Turns out, they are kind of hit or miss. WMA’s in NC do not allow the extensive boondocking that VA has. You can, however, use some pretty secluded camping sites that are primarily for hunters. The catch is, the sites are only open during hunting season.

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