Monday, February 18, 2019

Mojave Desert Hike.

The other day I asked Richard if he wanted to go on a hike with me.  He said sure, so I started looking on Google.  There really isn't much in the immediate neighborhood.  I did find one at Mojave National Preserve.  It's a pretty large area.  I found Hole-In-The-Wall.  The headquarters was closed for renovations.  We decided to try it out.  I wanted to hike in the desert.
We looked ahead to see it was about an hour away.  Richard said, "Boy, it is really in the middle of nowhere."  I remembered to grab my sun hat, and my water.  We stepped out of the door, Richard remotely locked the door, and I thought, "Maybe I need a jacket."  It was in the low 60's and quite pleasant.  We knew we would be beating the clouds and Richard said I'd be ok. 
Well..............I was watching the temperature on the truck drop as we got closer and closer.  The final reading was 39 degrees.  This shows 41.  Thanks goodness Richard had extra coats in the car. 


I was going to do this blog in category order:  Rocks, Lichen, Cacti, Other, but it is much quicker just to do it in the order of the pictures taken.  By the way, go on to to Richard's blog to see his take on our hike.  He has good pictures, too.
 This is a trail head going into Hole-In-The-Wall, straight ahead. Below is another Pano pic.  The rocks and holes I believe we made from a volcanic blast.  There is a great explanation of the holes in the rocks here: https://www.desertusa.com/mnp/mnp_hole.html  Plus great pictures.
 There is a lot of iron oxide in these rocks, thus the orange color.  The volcanic rocks in Oregon were dark gray. My camera really couldn't show the depth of the rocks. 


I thought it interesting how small rocks were "cemented" in to make the larger pillars.


Look carefully in the dark area in the picture below.  There are some hikers.  This is on a trail that has metal loops to use to go in and out of the canyon.  It seemed a little too much for Richard and I, so we didn't attempt it.  A group of teens with adults-very well behaved-went on in.
 There was an overhang area to look in the canyon.  The picture on the left-look lower right.  There is a puddle there from the last rain, and it has ice on it. 



 You can see there was a balcony of sorts with a metal fence to block you from falling in.  You had to clamber over a few huge rocks to get there.  I should have gotten Richard to take a pic of me doing just that!
Brr, this is a small stream of water completely frozen over a rock.  


We decided to follow a trail, here is what we saw when we started out.  Things are pretty brown still in the desert, but with the recent rain you can see some greening.  We could especially see it in the lower elevations on our drive here.  Here is my first picture of lichen.  I couldn't really get the color right.  It was a bright spring green.  

 Off we go!  Can you see Richard?  The pic makes him look a lot farther along than he really is.  The pic on the right is what would have been used as fuel many years ago.  At the flat section of the trail there were many dung patties.


 Cactus #1.  Oh dear, I misplaced my cactus book.  This is a prickly pear. 

 Not a cactus, but a Yucca plant.  Actually, a Yucca tree.  Pronounced  Yuck-a. 
 I'm rather proud of the pic on the left.  Cactus #2.  A cholla cactus. 
 What's up with the white rocks?  hmmmm.    And this pretty barrel cactus.  Some call it the California barrel cactus, some call it the Ferocactus cylindraceus.

 a cactus skeleton.  I couldn't get the picture to "pop" because it blends in so well.  The dry brush around it has some green going on deep inside. 

 Another barrel.  Richard and I really liked these.  Sometimes they look red, sometimes pink sometimes purple.  And more cholla.  The grey things in the background are dead Yucca trees.
 Cactus #4.  ????  Could be a many headed barrel?  A cluster of cholla?  They were smaller as you can see by the rocks.
 
 Some periwinkle colored lichen.  And a Yucca tree up close.



 Pale green and orange yellow lichen. And a rock with orange, green, whiteish lichen.

 This is a cholla doing the dab.  Look for the nest sitting on the branches.  And a critter.
 This could be a teddy bear cholla, but I think it really is the silver cholla.  It really stood out with the white. 

 Here is the dung factory.  He was standing in the same area going in, and an hour later when we were leaving. 


 Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this.  We only did a mile round trip hike.  It was really cold!!!!  Us Alaskans could have handled longer if we had planned ahead and brought more gear.  Even today it is in only the 50's.  I look at what average temps are supposed to be here in Needles-70's.  We've just been getting the 50's and low 60's.  Signing off and crocheting!



Thursday, February 14, 2019

Needles, California


Here we are halfway into our time at Marina RV Park in Needles, California.  
Today is a rainy day.  It is in the fifties, even the dogs seem droopy.  They will be getting a special treat, Bully sticks, after their afternoon walk.
I have been quite lazy this month.  My days are taken up with puzzles on my phone-word and number puzzles, color by number on my iPad, books on my iPad, crocheting, washing dishes, and general chores.  I think I'll do my next post on my crocheting.  A few days ago we went out and about, here are the pictures.  First of all, one evening we went to a restaurant called the Wagon Wheel.  It started business in 1978, and has fame for being on Route 66.  Now according to Wikipedia, Route 66 had started declining in the 50's.  There was a surge of trying to save the history.  Even president Clinton came up with 10 million in matching funds to preserve portions of Rt. 66.  

The building for the Wagon Wheel restaurant was built in the early 50's as Lynn's Boiler.  There was a lot on the menu.  I had home make roast over mashed potatoes.  Very tasty.  Comfort food.
The white rectangle in the middle of the mural is a blocked window.  


 No idea of what Lee's Cafe was.  It really wasn't a diner until 1978....?????????
 We found Spike again!  This time Woodstock is there for a visit. 
These murals are on the same wall.  The wall is on the side of the museum.  


I thought this very attractive.  The bench looks to be just like a curb on the highway.  The sign has railroad art.  There are mountains.  There is a blue strip for the Colorado River, and I assume the board walk represents something, like the highway?????   




  


 This is a "tunnel" that is only one lane, 8 foot clearance, and interesting graffiti.  You can see a train on the bridge.



 mmmmmmm, Richard make chocolate chip cookies.  Artie and Leinen love to walk down to the river.  Yesterday was the first day that Artie really stepped into the river.  Leinen reacts to it like he reacted to the ocean.  He barks at it, and attacks it.


 Leinen digs at the water.  If there is something floating close by, like a feather, he grabs it.  He barks at the ducks.  I think he doesn't understand floating.  It makes no sense how those ducks can be ON the water instead of sinking down. 


 Well, with the wifi this blog got done quickly.  Time for lunch then walk the dogs.  I think I'll be crocheting and watching movies after that.  It's still up in the air for Richard going to the Hot Tub today.  NOT me!  lol.