Denise Goldberg's blog

Sunday, January 29, 2012

On top of the world

Denise was going to write today but then she said that words weren't flowing for her. I always like playing with words; I'm happy to write again! When we got to the high point of our last hike today, there were two other people there with us. One of them got a phone call, and I heard him tell the caller that he was "on top of the world". Denise & I were there too!

We started today by heading in the wrong direction to find the first trailhead. I told Denise she should look at the map before we started driving, but she didn't listen. it didn't really matter though; we only drove a few miles to the west when we needed to head east. The Fortynine Palms Oasis was waiting for us. We hiked up and up, then down to find the oasis. Just before we got to the end of the trail we could see the tops of tall palm trees ahead. Wow, what a contrast - from desert to tall green palm trees, fan palms, so green. It was an out and back hike, so we again headed up and up before turning downhill again.

I bounce along the trail in bare paws, but Denise wears hiking shoes. We saw two women wearing those funny barefoot running shoes - you know, the kind with toes, like this:

Denise doesn't think she could wear these on smooth ground, and these women were hiking on uneven and rocky terrain. One was on the Fortynine Palms trail, and the other on the Ryan Mountain trail. Neither of those trails were flat!

Before we moved on to hike up a mountain we made a quick stop at the Arch Rock Nature trail. That was a very short loop that started in the White Tank campground. Wow - those campsites were really tiny. There was barely enough room to park a car plus pitch a tent. There were lots of interestingly shaped rocks on that trail. It was a nice break between our long walks.

Then, it was time to walk up Ryan Mountain. The trail went up, and up, over rock steps in places, some smooth terrain, with quite a bit of uneven footing. Up, around a corner, up again, ending at the top of the 5th highest peak in the park. Of course the fact that we walked a mile and a half uphill meant that we needed to walk down for the same distance. That was a good end to our first (but not last) visit to Joshua Tree, a good hike, a feeling that we were on top of the world.
--- Rover