Browsing Category "Parks"
We're still adjusting to the lushness of the landscape after spending so long in the desert.

Loving San Diego County

By     |    Feb 6, 2012
Posted in: California, Parks     |    1 Comment

San Diego county seems to have gotten something right when it comes to its public services. Every library is nice, new-ish, well-designed, and provides free, unrestricted wifi and power. But the county park campgrounds are what we’re really appreciating right now — they’ve provided us with a comfy place to call home for a few weeks. Public camping in California is expensive — state parks charge $35-$50 for the privilege of occupying a […]

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I channel Ansel Adams.

What Would You Say You Do Here? Well, Bob …

By     |    Feb 2, 2012
Posted in: California, Hikes, Parks     |    3 Comments

We get a lot of questions about what we do on a typical day, how we spend our time. It’s funny, because some days I still feel like we’re “wasting” time, but when I look back on how I spent my time in the past … we’re far from wasting anything right now. So the typical day, then. That’s tough. We’re always moving, heading to a new spot, exploring, searching […]

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A flowering cactus.

Saved by Agua Caliente County Park in San Diego County

By     |    Feb 2, 2012
Posted in: California, Parks     |    4 Comments

In case you can’t tell from our last few posts, we had been hitting a bit of a rough patch. “Confined” to the warm climate of southern California in January, we were kind of striking out at Joshua Tree National Park, Salton Sea, Yuma, AZ…we were not finding places that we liked, and we were craving a place where we could spend a few days relaxing. After a noisy night […]

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Guess what happened next?

A Tour of the Joshua Tree National Park Cholla Cactus Garden

By     |    Jan 31, 2012
Posted in: California, Parks     |    No Comments

It’s always a little awe-inspiring to come across a place where the conditions align perfectly to support a specific kind of plant. It’s a great example of the sensitivity and specificity of life on earth. One of these places is the Cholla Cactus Garden in JTNP (that’s Joshua Tree National Park). The soil is perfect, the slope is perfect, the amount of water is perfect. Perfect for a grove of […]

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Joshua tree bark.

Textures of Joshua Tree National Park

By     |    Jan 27, 2012
Posted in: California, Parks     |    No Comments

Joshua Tree National Park is filled with rocks. Big ones, small ones, gigantic ones. Rocks, rocks, rocks. But it’s also the inhospitable desert where water is scarce and trees and shrubs struggle to survive. Intense winds spin and twist plants into the oddest shapes. Here are a few of my favorite non-rock photos from Joshua Tree.

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067 (Small)

Joshua Tree National Park is…OK

By     |    Jan 26, 2012
Posted in: California, Parks     |    4 Comments

First of all, Joshua trees are cool.  A Joshua tree is not a tree, per se, it’s a yucca.  Unlike the Joshua trees we’ve seen elsewhere, the Joshua trees we saw in and around Joshua Tree National Park were of tree size — they were huge!  Joshua trees are not limited to the park — they can be found anywhere in the Mohave desert.  But these were by far the […]

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Tecopa hot springs from above.

A Failed-Flasher’s Guide to Death Valley Showers and Baths

By     |    Jan 17, 2012
Posted in: Adventure How To, California, Parks     |    No Comments

“Yeah, the Hearst Castle is amazing. The guest houses are four-bedroom mansions! Can you believe that? I’ve been there 10 times.” I’m getting travel tips from a gent that’s probably 60+ years old. He works in the area and just finished a night shift. I assume he works at one of the casinos in Pahrump, but I don’t get a chance to ask. He’s got old-man glasses and calloused hands. His glasses keep fogging […]

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Goodbye, badlands.

One Last Look at Death Valley

By     |    Jan 16, 2012
Posted in: California, Parks     |    1 Comment

Our posts from the last few weeks have been a little out of order.  Over Christmas, holed up in Las Vegas, we had hoped to catch up on our backlog and get back to the order of reality.  Guess what: it didn’t happen, and if anything we’re even more mixed up now than we were before.  After a strange Christmas in Las Vegas, where every day feels exactly the same, […]

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Badwater basin at sunrise.

The Best of Death Valley: Avoiding the Crowds at the Hot Spots

By     |    Jan 12, 2012
Posted in: California, Parks     |    2 Comments

Even though there’s plenty to do in Death Valley without visiting the named attractions, sooner or later you’re going to want to see these places too — after all, when you return to civilization, everyone in the know is going to ask if you’ve seen the Racetrack, Badwater, Scotty’s Castle, etc. (I’m also irresistibly curious about these places). There are a few things you can do to ensure you see the […]

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Want to be the only ones around? Just park your car and take a few steps.

The Best of Death Valley: The South Entrance

By     |    Jan 9, 2012
Posted in: California, Drives, Parks     |    2 Comments

As tempting as the town of Death Valley Junction, CA, sounded, we decided to enter Death Valley National Park from the southeast, via Shoshone, CA.  If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, this is the way to go (just make sure you have a full tank of gas — unless you want to pay $5.10/gallon).  We found some very interesting spots, from natural hot springs (clothing prohibited), a date palm […]

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