Wednesday, November 14
I get a lighthearted feeling when the crew and I leave a camp in search of a new adventure. Before leaving Sawtooth Canyon Campground, Ranger Jim tells me that Buddy, the pit bull of Owl Canyon, has found a home with the military service people of Ft. Irwin, north of Barstow. They took him with them when they left the campground. What good news! Have a wonderful life, Buddy!
An early start has us in Joshua Tree National Park by noon.
After a stop in Twenty-nine Palms for gas and groceries and another stop at the Oasis Visitor Center (north entrance to Joshua Tree), we make our camp at Belle Campground ($10 regular, $5 senior pass), one of the park’s smaller campgrounds, which is why I choose it.
Turns out it’s very scenic and quiet, just how I like a camp. The rocks remind me of Alabama Hills. The crew and I reacquaint ourselves with familiar desert plants, including, of course, the Joshua Tree.[slideshow] (The slideshow photos are scenes within Belle Campground and the road to it from the north entrance of the park.)
Thursday, November 15
This morning Spike, Bridget, and I are up early at 5:30. We wait until our closest neighbor is up and about before going on a walk. The park rules prohibit dogs from the trails, other than 100 feet from a campground. We break camp and board the PTV.
It’s an overcast morning as we mosey through the park.
I keep our speed at 25-35 mph the entire way, enjoying the changing desert landscape. A coyote runs across the road in front of us. I make a brief stop at the Cholla Garden. Palo verde trees feather the roadside. I’d like to come back here in springtime.
I’m posting this entry along the road at the south entrance of the park where I can pick up an internet connection. I’m curious to see where we’ll camp next!