We bid farewell to life in Death Valley on Thursday and headed South towards Joshua Tree. The park's weekend popularity meant we had to forego our plans for a stopover in LA and go straight to JTNP to get a campsite before it filled up.
We were lucky to find a great site in Jumbo Rocks, centrally located within the park's nearly 800,000 acres, and also very scenic. The only drawback is that, as with many of JTNP's campgrounds, there is no running water. But we had planned ahead and brought our own, and what it lacked in amenities, it more than made up for in giant boulders that looked like the aftermath of a 1000-year tectonic game of tetris.
Ryan Mountain is a manageable 3 miles with about 1000 feet of elevation gain, as the trail winds its way around the mountain to the peak, with 360 views of the vast park that surrounded us. The wind was strong but afforded a great show of Ravens performing airborne acrobatics. We took a brief rest, and lots of photos, and then started back down the mountain.
J-Tree has been a real treat! This is some of the most dramatic and unusual scenery I've ever seen. It feels like real-life setting of the Lorax by Dr. Seuss. These past few days have been a literal and figurative oasis - from Lost Pams to visiting with our friends. Tomorrow we hit the road again, across the desert to our next stop: The Grand Canyon.