Joshua Tree, Grand Canyon & Death Valley National Parks
5/19/15 - 5/27/15
After seeing Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Arches and some other national parks in June 2014 in our 1999 Toyota Corolla (which, by the end of the trip, required climbing in and out of the trunk to unlock the car), we decided to see more of the US in May 2015, in the safety of our new hybrid (complete with working locks!).
Joshua Tree National Park's Chief Ranger, Jeff Ohlfs, is my third cousin. Dave and I liked meeting Jeff and his wife Deb. We planned to get the inside scoop on the Park, but instead learned about the extensive travel that the Ohlfs have done. We compared safari notes, Peruvian experiences, and dreamed of future adventures. We also got a bit of Godde gossip - while my great grandfather homesteaded in the desert for the eventual planting of almonds and pistachios, Jeff's ancestor (my great grand uncle) headed west to the ocean to Oxnard, CA. I think that was the way to go!
Here are some Joshua Park pics. (This isn't far from the Godde almond orchards - yes, the ocean might have been the way to go!)
We got out of there quiick...
On to camping at Grand Canyon National Park. So happy to be there! Dave's first Grand Canyon visit! And it might as well have been my first - I forgot how awe inspiring it is!
We hiked lots...10 miles one day! I think my legs fell off for a minute, I was so tired.
Effort to capture the moment is best done in a panaroma. Did it come across?
It hailed when we left! Glad to pack up our tent and leave!
The Little Painted Desert County Park is such a hidden treat. This is the best of many many pictures we took of the (small) area.
Sedona, AZ is gorgeous. Though Dave was not a fan of the crystal shops...I think we counted about 10? That's 10 more than Dave ever wanted to see in his life.
Death Valley was hot...90 in the tent was warm at night (hard to sleep). But day time was even hotter!
A highlight? Wood was once converted to charcoal in these beauties...
With the sunset looming, Dave and I hoofed it up 4 miles over 3-4K of vertical. We shocked ourselves by summiting in 2 hours, and enjoyed the view. The bad part? Now what we know what our bodies can do...it seems all downhill from here (ba ba bum!)
Lowest point in N. America. Badwater Basin. The drill: get out the car, fake a smile, take a picture, and get back to the A/C.
And so our trip ended...