Friday, March 18, 2011

From Arizona to California

It's raining.  On the one hand:  bummer.  On the other hand:  I can hang out in this nice library surrounded by books and write a few updates!  Picking up where I left off...

Cochise Stronghold:  After Saguaro National Park, we climbed a day at Cochise Stronghold.  Our couchsurf hosts spoke highly of the place, and they were right.  Fantastic granite and thought-provoking moves, even on the easy stuff.  This day, though, I missed my climbing friends in Ithaca and wished that we were together.

yucca and cochise granite

Then California!

Joshua Tree National Park:  the Joshua Trees look so odd, like something Dr. Seuss would draw.  We did a day hike out into the desert and up a canyon.  I'm sick of desert hiking.  Just not the type of place where I feel at home, comfortable, refreshed, at peace--how I usually feel after hiking.

We climbed a half-day since we had quickdraws but no trad rack.  Ooops!  We climbed on Pixie Rock...  lots of smearing and lots of open grip hands.   I desperately attempted to crimp on microscopic numbs and to edge on non-existent features before I gave in to the style the rock required.  Then it went ok, and I climbed my first outside 5.10 (no cheating, this time!).

I thought I would love JTree, but I only liked it.

joshua tree and sunset
San Bernardino National Forest:  This was an unexpected stop, since we left JTree early.  AWESOME!!! We hiked the Cougar Crest trail out of Big Bear City to the famous Pacific Crest Trail and Bertha Peak.  The northern slopes were still snow-covered, and there were trees and shrubs everywhere overlooking the lake and the ski slopes beyond.  After a month in the parched, beige and brown desert, this was like awakening!

view of big bear lake from the pacific crest trail (PCT)
We volunteered with the Bald Eagle annual census and spotted an adult eagle soaring across the lake!

our eagle census sheet
After the San Bernardinos, I drove Dave to LAX so he could fly back to the East Coast for a rope access job.  And then, I was on my own!

1 comment:

  1. Pictures are incredible, as usual. That little camera doesn't owe you a dime! Dad and I visited with Dad and Mom Redwood Trees in 1980.
    I wonder how much they have grown in 31 years.
    The black and white photo of coast is surreal.
    Last weekend before surgery. Going to puttsy to my hearts content.... Love you Mummers