A desert tour

It is an amazing country we live in and each time I drive through any area of the desert southwest it never ceases to amaze me.  Growing up far far away from the deserts I always had this idea of barren, flat, dry and ugly.  While there are some areas that do fit this picture there is way more beauty  and life here than ever imagined.

The desert is in bloom

We have primarily taken backroads all the way down from Moab to where we find ourselves today, in San Clemente, California.  We left Moab a week and a half ago, Wednesday evening and immediately hit a huge windstorm head on.  So after a couple hours of fighting the fierce winds we decided to set up an early camp on a red dirt road just to the west of Capitol Reef National Park.

Another beautiful sunset in the desert in Capitol Reef National Park

The next morning we woke to snow covered mountains all around and though we were both ready for some hot weather after our winter in Wyoming, this really was a blessing.  The white blanket of snow against the high red desert in spring bloom made for a gorgeous drive through south west Utah that day.

Jed & I on Devil's Backbone pass in the snow

We stopped that afternoon for a run outside of Zion at a place called Gooseberry Mesa, (which made us really miss our mountain bikes) before continuing on to camp down a dirt road a little past St. George, UT.

Camping in the Desert between St George and Las Vegas!

The next morning we headed in to Vegas to finish off some chores before making our way out to Red Rocks for a few days.  This included a trip to a RV store where we really came to learn the extent of this RV’er sect, to which we really don’t belong.

We are just the little guys!

Wade and Natasha, our good friends from Jackson joined us in that evening in Red Rocks for a few good days of climbing.  However in typical Red Rock vacation fashion we spent our first day in a cold rain storm.  It is truly amazing how bone chilling cold the desert can be!

Luckily it warmed up for us and we got a couple great days of sport climbing and even randomly ran in to our good friend, Ben, from Moab.

In the Black Corridor of Joshua Tree with Wade & Natasha - great day of climbing!

We left Red Rocks deciding to take backroads through the Mohave desert to Joshua Tree National Park.  We stopped and set up camp with Wade and Natasha just a little way in to the reserve.  After several nights camping in the pay campground around Red Rocks, the wide open spaces with no one else around was welcome, and with a little influence from Mr. Jim Beam a desert dance party ensued.

Sleeping in the next morning , making a huge breakfast and hanging out for a bit was a great start to our rest day.  And if there is one thing the four of us do well together it is eating.

Having never been to Joshua Tree before and always hearing stories of the drum circles and dread locks I was a little surprised by the entrance town of Twenty-nine Palms, a strange community with a tattoo parlor and military barber shop on nearly every corner where the only place to buy groceries was store reminiscent of a small Big Lots that made you pay to use a grocery cart. Nevertheless, the rumors I had heard gained merit after reaching the Hidden Valley campground in  the park.

Howbeit, Joshua Tree is an intoxicating place that we ended up staying in for four nights.  We met some great people and had three wonderful days of fun climbing!

Sunset on top of the rocks

Belaying Jed up in Joshua Tree

Jed & I on top of Intersection Rock

Met a great couple from Ouray, CO in J-Tree. Always fun making new friends on the road

Pulling away from Joshua Tree Saturday afternoon in 90 degree weather, sun beaten and content with our time spent, we were excited to be heading toward a little cooler weather and the coast.


About adventureamericas

Jed and I set out April 2012 to drive from Wyoming to the southern tip of Argentina! Join us along the way to read about our adventures as we attempt to surf the coasts, climb the mountains and speak the language of the 15 countries we plan to visit!
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