The Wind Made Me do it...

Trip Start Jan 09, 2012
Trip End Jun 04, 2012

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Where I stayed
Belle Campground

Flag of United States  , California
Friday, February 3, 2012

Today we sadly left Sunsetters RV Park.  Our neighbors, Roberta and Ralph came over and bade us adieu.  We shared hugs and hopes that we’d meet again.  The come here each year from California and spend five months.  Ralph ran a  KOA campground for thirty-three years near Sacramento.  He was also a milkman earlier in his life for twenty years.  A milkman...imagine the stories he could tell and those that were told about him and milkmen in general.

We gassed up shorty at a Pilot Station where we get a small discount since we’re members.  The word for today was WIND.  We drove over a hundred and fifty files with sidewinds all the way.  I’d guess about twenty mile per hour winds and gusts much higher.  I judge from the angle of the steering wheel off center.  Ten degrees to forty-five was the range.  Then there were the headwinds.  Since the dominant wind direction in North America is out of the west, we expected some wind, but not we encountered.  The drive took us about three hours.  The altitude increased as we traveled, and the temperature, as expected, decreased.  The seventies of Quartzsite are but a memory.  The road we followed ran through hundreds of small abandoned huts.  It looked like an Indian Reservation, but no signs showed such.  No small towns or settlements there until we got to Twenty Nine Palms.  This is where Joshua Tree National Park has it’s headquarters.

We stopped at the Visitors Center and got some information about campgrounds for RVs.  We decided on Belle CG, not far from the entrance.  The campground circles huge granite boulders.  We tried to find a site on the leeward side.  We stopped at a few and Lynn got out and licked her finger  and held it in the air to see if the wind was calm enough for her.  Her finger is sprained, so she says.  We finally chose a relative “calm” site, number Six.  The wind still rocks Shorty at times and keeps on our toes, so to speak.

After lunching, Lynn drove to a few areas so I could shoot some pictures.  Huge boulders abound here.  The groves of Joshua trees is amazing.  We learned that they are propagated by a moth which feeds off of the pollen.  In the process, seeds are spread in a wide area.  The photos also show yucca plants in some areas.  There are similarities in both species, but the yucca is smaller and has “strings” attached to it’s leaves.  The dominant large plant here is surely the Joshua tree.

We drove about fifty miles or so, investigating Jumbo Rocks CG and up to Keys Point where one can see a vast area of the park.  There aren’t too many folks here, it being a Thursday.  We also gained an hour since we’re now on Pacific Standard Time.

Belle CG is small, with only eighteen sites.  The rocks abut our site.  The kids from our site neighbors were climbing in the small caves when we returned.  I can easily remember climbing the rocks in Maude-S Canyon, near Butte, as a kid.  I’m sure I still have some scars.  

In spite of the cool weather, in the fifties, the sky is a brilliant blue and the sun is hot.  The sand at our site is about an eighth of an inch in diameter, so it’s easily noticeable in my “sand”les.  <Sorry...>

We have no power, water or sewer hookup here, so we are truly Boondocking.  We’ll get power for lights from our house battery.  If need be and it’s cold enough in the AM, we can start the generator and run the furnace and small space heaters, or both.  We’ll leave from the same route of entry, turning west again to Indio, CA.  From there, on to Salton Sea CG for a week of relaxation, hiking, geocaching and photography.

Tonight it’s leftover fried rice, Wolfburgers and salad.  Ahhh, but the food is grand!  Lynn was a real catch, I’ve been told and must agree.  Thanks for stopping by...
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jerry on

What, no birds, animals, or reptiles?

ferd on

Great looking country, what is the elevation? Love those Joshua trees, wonder what the grain looks like? Mild and sunny again here today, almost 40! Lynner, you are a GOOD catch!

Dennis on

Your nomadic wanderings should be shared with some young children when you get back home- very interesting and educational. I'm serious.

mnoble61 on

So not cutting all the way through the park to get to Salton Sea---we took our VW camper through there in 09...pretty windy (both uses of that word). We camped at the same campground you did and then at Jumbo Rock CG and played U2's Joshua tree all night. Glad you enjoyed your stay there sans the wind. Cutting through Anza-Borrego? I will tell you that way truly is a test of driving skills but a pretty drive. take care and thanks for the writings.

photodon on

Geordy and I spent some time at the Elks Lodge in Twentyninepalms in 2008 and made a couple of forays into nearby Joshua Tree. What a beautiful place. I really enjoy your great pictures and accountings of your and Lynn's travels. Thanks for sharin', Ralphie.

Rob Whorley on

A little info about the abandoned huts. What was explained to me was people couldn't just buy land and sit on it. They had to improve it. So they built the huts to meet the minimum requirements. The huts were there when I was there in the early 70's. Apparently not much has changed. I was going to purchase some land back then in anticipation of having some prime beach front property when the rest of California fell into the ocean because of an earthquake. I didn't. A decision I'll probably regret someday.

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