David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
Nomadic 2005
Bicycle Trip 2009
Bicycle Trip 2010
Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
02/07  How I spent my weekend
02/08  Three States and a River
02/11  Welcome to the Desert
02/12  A Cold, Hot, Dry Day
02/13  29 Palms
02/17  Joshua Tree National Park kicked my butt
02/18  Canyons, Farms, and more Desert
02/19  See, this is why I gave up on the van
02/20  It snowed
02/25  Temecula to Oxnard
02/26  Not nearly tough enough
02/27  Solvang and Buellton
03/06  (pictures)
03/12  (pictures)
03/13  (pictures)
03/14  (pictures)
03/19  From Solvang to Lompok
03/20  Nothing to Report
03/22  (pictures)
03/23  (pictures)
03/25  Technical difficulties
03/26  Pleasantly Not Soaked
03/27  Another Shortcut
03/28  (pictures)
03/30  (pictures)
04/01  (pictures)
04/04  (pictures)
04/05  (pictures)
04/08  Toxic Orchards
04/09  Los Gatos Road
04/10  Summits
04/12  CalTrain
04/15  San Francisco
04/16  Almost Car Sick
04/17  Pinnipeds
04/19  (pictures)
04/22  (pictures)
04/22  Terrorists Stole My Jelly
04/23  A Little More Peddling
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
Bicycle Trip 2015
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

Joshua Tree National Park kicked my butt

2011-02-17

tl;dr: Joshua Tree National Park kicked my butt, but I got to see a lot of rocks and plants.

I never did get a haircut. Combat Cuts caters to the to the world's largest Marine base, and, apparently, that means it opens at hours at odds with me. Although in unrelated news I was told that I looked English. That's a first.

I left 29 Palms around 11 AM to head into Joshua Tree National Park. I passed the Catholic lady again. She crossed herself.

The map had told me I would be in for a little hill climbing. I had no idea. The first 10 miles were a solid steady climb of 2000 feet. Only half of that is actually inside the park. The road then dropped over 2100 feet over the next 10 miles, chilling me to the point of shivers, before crossing Fried Liver Wash and forcing another climb. The next 10 miles only gained me about 1400 feet, but it was steeper at times. Finally I was presented with another downhill, and I drifted along until I found a place to set up camp. I guess those numbers don't sound impressive, but I am thoroughly whipped. My legs are weak. My back hurts. I'm winded. And I suspect I didn't put on enough sun block.

Along the way I was passed by some other touring cyclists who were obviously in better shape then me. They promised to see me at Cottonwood, which I figured out was a campground. Sorry, I'm way too anti-social to stay at a public campground when given a choice. And say what you will about the desert, but there are a lot of choices for camping.

I passed a crew who were spraying weeds. They didn't seem very pleased with their lot in life.

So I headed south until I found a cell signal (in a minor miracle I missed no important emails). I then chased a hummingbird away from a bush and set up my tent just out of sight of the road. I can barely hear the hum of the interstate way down in the valley. I'd prefer silence, but that's the price of a cell connection.

I ate a dinner of summer sausage and sharp cheddar as the setting sun was replaced by a full moon rising over the mountains. I think I can hear coyotes yipping.

29 Palms has lots of murals and no graffiti




jumble of rocks number 1


a Joshua tree




10 miles of downhill


don't touch the cholla


ocotillo shrubs


Exotic Plant Control Crew


jumble of rocks number 1000


camping under a full moon

contact me at le@liverworks.com
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