DAY ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY EIGHT
I'd planned on going to the Tram this morning but I needed to get a map of Joshua Tree so I went there instead. It was a good decision. The weather turned out to be perfect and with summer coming I don't know how many trips I'll be making up there. Heat tends to send me to the higher elevations. Though higher than here, Joshua Tree is not quite high enough for my summer taste.
When I got there, it was starting to cloud up. The temperature is about 80º and there is a little breeze blowing. The only bad thing is that I have to get back in time to pick up my son at school.
I decide to climb Ryan Mountain. It's a nice easy climb and offers the best view in Joshua Tree. I always recommend it to people visiting the park.
The trail is very well maintained and well used.
There are lots of these steps. In fact, there are more steps than I have ever encountered on a trail. It must be stimulus money at work.
After rounding the first corner, you get a nice side view of Saddle Rocks.
I see this beautiful little orange flower in the dirt.
The clouds threaten rain but none comes. Such is life in the desert.
After a steady but never steep climb, I get to the top in good time. There is a large rock pile marking the summit.
You can see San Gorgonio in the distance. It is also possible to see San Jacinto, Santa Rosa and a myriad other peaks but with the clouds it's difficult to pick them out. I'll have to come back on a clear day sometime.
On the way down, I get a nice view of the Wonderland of Rocks.
The trail stretches out before me. The steps become troublesome on the way down. I've got to get going to get my son at school but it is difficult to run down the steps and it is no good on the knees having to step down them all the time. I run for a while but soon give it up. My son will just have to wait if I'm late. He won't mind; he likes hanging out with his friends.
Joshua Tree is not really a summer destination but I will be coming back when the weather makes it feasible. There is usually about one week per month in the summer when cooler temperatures make a visit enjoyable. Also, summer thunderstorms can also cool it off considerably. I just have to make sure I come when the kids are out of school. That way I don't have to hurry because Joshua Tree is a place you want to enjoy slowly.