Desert rock, mmmmm.....
It's amazing how fast time goes when the busy things of life start to compound one upon another. The end of my winter term at Oregon State and the beginning of my spring season of Naturalists-At-Large has left little time for conversing on the Internet. I have two trips behind me at NAL and a big season ahead. And while I'd love to pin my latest posting hiatus on work and sickness, the last week can only be attributed to my immersion in the Joshua Tree climbing life.
I'm back in Hidden Valley campground. Here again, climbing harsh granite and routes steeped in history. Living in a community of friendly climbers and good people, where its not unlikely that a walk around the 45-site loop will reunite one with at least a handful of long-time seen fellow adventures. For those folks you don't see its time to get an update of their whereabouts from the kind mix of hearsay and gossip past through the informal fireside conversations of fellow educators, climbers, and thoughtful desert-rats.
Once one settles into the Hidden Valley camping life going to town in something that one dreads. A parked car is a beautiful thing and rare treat for me. So when I finally pulled the $1200 Subaru into the spacestation site of Hidden Valley I was content to resign myself to the internetless/phoneless life of desert dwelling. Awe... a short walk in any direction from home will deposit you at another Joshua Tree challenge. Climbing is all-around during the day, friends and fires and music is all-around at night. Bluegrass bands show up with an upright bass, old friends show up with a mission for the Chasm of Doom, food gets shared over a campfire, and the easy life of Jtree is again a part of my life.
Photos: (L) Sunshine in bigwall training mode on Hot Rocks.
(R) Scotty smiles at the rickety gear and a good stem on M & M's Plain.