Vacation: Day 9 (Joshua Tree Park)

Matt and I went to Joshua tree National Park today. It’s our last full day in Palm Desert and we wanted to go and do something really fun. I found a bunch of trails that we could walk along and a few feature spots in the park. When we first got there we stopped at the visitor center and talked to one of the girls there about where we could go and what we could see. There was only one spot left in the entire park that still had some water and she told us that would be the best spot to see wildlife. She also told us about a place called Skull Rock. We drove to Barker Dam which had a little bit of standing water still. There were nats and flies all over the place. It was really hot out but it was nice to walk around by ourselves and check out everything. Matt was climbing all over every rock and I was just trying to avoid prickly bushes and the golf ball size bees flying around me. We saw a bunch of rabbits and quail mommy’s with their babies. Matt climbed really high up on a big rock and started shouting that he could see a sheep. I climbed up where he was and there it was a Long Horn Sheep. It didn’t seem to be afraid of us and in fact it was coming closer to where we were standing.

Some of the rocks were really steep to climb down so Matt said we should just jump. It wasn’t that far but it was too far for me. I almost jumped but every time I was about to my nerves would kick in and I would chicken out. I kept thinking about if I fell how far it was or it I would go right off the other side. The rock we were jumping to was only about 4 feet wide. I found a different way down and when we got to ground level we walked over to where the last bit of water from the dam was. I was setting up the camera to take a picture of the two of us on a big rock when I hear Matt say….”oh god, go now…get up onto a rock” I looked over at him and the Long Horn Sheep that we had seen walk away into the brush was now back and about 100 feet away from us. I knew that if he was threatened he might start charging towards us and I’m pretty sure that he can run faster than us. The hike was pretty short, just about a mile but that was enough because it was so hot out that we were ready for more water and the cool air conditioning.

We then drove over to Skull Rock and when we got there we had a lot of company. We waited a few minutes for the other tourist to finish taking their picture and then we got ours, Matt tried to climb into the eye part of the rock but he didn’t have the right kind of shoes on to get the right kind of gription (matt’s word). When you looked around all you could see was one huge rock after another and they were mostly the same height so we climbed up onto one and then started jumping to another. I was on one rock that was pretty small compared to all the others when I heard two people behind me. They were other tourist that I think were from Germany or Austria because they were speaking German. They both climbed up to the rock I was on and just stood there taking pictures, they must have been standing there with me for at least a minute or two. The rock wasn’t really big enough for all of us and I felt like I was going to fall off. I was just about to say something when they went to the next rock.

Matt was having so much fun jumping from rock to rock, climbed up onto one really big one and actually scraped up his knee and back getting up there. I found another one that looked more like a face than the actual Skull Rock. We were having a lot of fun but it started to get really hot again so I told Matt I wanted to start heading back. He was still up on the big rock when he said that he thought he was stuck and needed help down. I went over to help him and while I was making my way from one rock to another, I slipped and put my hand down to stop myself from falling but forgot that my camera was in my hand. I smashed it into the side of the rock and scratched the crap out of the corner and back. It still works fine so it wasn’t a huge deal. Matt said it makes the camera look like it’s gotten a lot of use and it’s now a memory we will always have. We just went back to the hotel and watched t.v, made dinner and went to bed. The day overall was a lot of fun and perfect for a last day. We are both ready to go home and see our puppies and sleep in our own bed. I’m not ready to go back to work though!


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