April 2007
Spring break with Paul and the boys was at Joshua Tree National Park and surrounding area this year.

.  Joshua Tree is about 150 miles SE of home, in the middle of the big empty between Palm Springs and the Colorado River.

At Jumbo Rocks CG.  As the sun set we went out to hike by the full moon, and about dark we met up with a backpacker who'd been separated from her group since midday. She was just a high school kid, but after wandering around for eight hours or so, she'd finally found her way back onto the trail. We were the only others out there, so it was fortuitous to have met. So together we hiked out to find her group's intended backcountry camp, but when we got there they'd already left to report her disappearance; nobody was there. So we turned back to return the couple miles to our car, and there a park ranger found us who could return her to her group.

Hiking to Willow Hole, in the 'Wonderland of Rocks' part of the park.

It sorta looks like home out here, just with way fewer WalMarts

Next day we hiked in the Mecca Hills.  This hike is up a cool slot named Ladder Canyon before it climbs out onto a ridgeline. See Paul's vid, 2.2Mb.

Overlooking the Coachella Valley at Key's View. That's Mt San Jacinto in the back.

Our last day, we hiked under the fan palms in Indian Canyon, near Palm Springs.

. Two weeks later was the Hiking Club trip. Here we are at camp in the Jumbo Rocks CG, and it's about 20 degrees colder than the last trip.

  600Kb video. On a hike to Lost Palms Oasis, in the SE corner of the park

  3.5 Mb Quicktime movie. Loop hike in the SW corner of the park, to the Lost Horse Mine. Lots of stuff out here is named for lost things.

  They should have named it the Lost Fingers Mine.
 

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