So, after the first day of ‘adventure’ and a very sleepless first night, I crawled out of the tent to discover that the wind had finally died off, and the sun was shinning. the desert of course of cool in the morning, so I brewed up some coffee, found a quiet spot and watch the sun rising. Perfect. This is exactly as I had imagined the week-end going. Some perfect peace and solitude. The birds had started to sing, just a few of them, no real tune, just chirps and hoots, and the soft wind blowing. Nothing else. no cars, no music, no phones. It so reminded me of my travels across Oz, the vast emptiness of a true wilderness.
Camping can bring you these moments. We could have easily stayed in a motel outside of the park for $50 a night, but that is not why we love the great outdoors. To be sat, on your own, with nothing to do buy lose yourself in the moment and the quietness of nature, just perfect. Mrs M arose soon after, and again, I lit the stove, cooked up some warming porridge, and we had breakfast planning the day. We have been to Joshua a few times before, but as a lazy tourist, so this time we donned our walking boots, and made plans for some treks. the first one we took on was a shortish trek, but finally took us away from any car parks and RV’s. We hiked along a deserted trail, slightly upwards into the desert. The desert this time of year is quite remarkable. Full of life, lizards, chipmunks, cacti blooming with flowers. Beautiful in it’s contrast with other natural forests and parks. Being a man, I needed to use the ‘restroom’ so I nipped of the path…as I did I finally heard something I always wanted to, but always dreaded hearing … the rattle…..HOLY MOTHER OF GOD !!, I jump a chuffing mile.. Mrs M did 20 yards in the opposite direction quicker than Linford Christie ! I did regain some composure, and managed a couple of pictures, but once he had coiled and was looking directly at me … time to move on. Wow, finally I had seen a true rattlesnake, in all it glory, in it’s natural habitat. The adrenaline was rushing through, and it set our conversation for our walk on nature, animals in their natural environment, and how and why people do get bitten, attacked, as they do not respect nature. We loved the walk, and returned back to camp in a wonderful mood.
The colours of the rocks, sand and desert flowers is stunning. The dominating boulders and rocks just amaze me, the way some of the rocks seemed to have been placed and balanced on each other is remarkable. They are so imposing, so enormous… just wonderful to walk between them, and marvel at the sheer enormity of this landscapes.
The evening passed un-eventfully, me cooking up a storm again, and giving Mrs M time to play with the camera. Sat by the fire, smoking a cigar, and Mrs M drinking a glass of red. The next morning, after a decent night sleep followed the same ideas. this time we found another trail, ending up at an old gold mine. Amazing how they found such riches in the middle of nowhere. We find that trekking gives us so much time to talk, discuss our childhoods of growing up with nature, our travels and of course our future plans. also, we saw another amazing site. Two large rattlers mating. What a spectacle. Observed from a safe distance, Mrs M having a small panic when taking a couple of shots and thinking they were as close as the zoom suggested. It was remarkable to watch these two creatures going through the mating courtship, and us being able to watch and listen to the rattles and the ‘fight’. Breathtaking.
Joshua Tree is a stunning National Park, looked after wonderfully well by the Rangers, and respected by the travellers. One of my favourite places on the wonderful planet.