Joshua Tree National Park, California


Friday 6/8/2018     We are staying at The Hidden Passage Guest Ranch for one more night and now since everyone has left we are going to do some sightseeing. After one last trip to Danny's shipping container to drop off a load of equipment, we headed to Joshua Tree National Forest.  We entered through the west entrance using my "American the Beautiful Lifetime Senior Pass".  One of the benefits of getting old is that I was able to purchase this pass for $80.00 and we can enter any national park for free.  It's a great benefit for us seniors.  The first stop we made inside the park was at the Hidden Valley and we hiked a mile loop.  The entire trail was surrounded by huge rock formations.

Next, we drove to the Barker Dam and walked a 1.3-mile loop. The main attraction is a cement dam built by cattle ranches in the 1940's which still holds a small pond of water.

We then drove to Keys View which is a high point in Joshua Tree at 5,185 feet.  It is a very beautiful scenic view even though it was hazy.

After Keys View, we stopped at Skull Rock, which is just how it sounds - a rock formation that resembles a skull.  We stopped at a picnic area and ate our lunch and afterward drove back to the trailer.  There is much more to see and do in Joshua Tree but it was extremely hot and we did quite a bit of walking and were tired.  Hopefully, we'll be able to go back.

We were just back in the trailer when I needed to go to the truck and as I opened the trailer door I heard a hissing sound.  Just a few feet away from our front door was a rattlesnake.  Unsure of what to do we just watched it for several minutes.  We decided that I would make a run for it and find either Rex or Jose and ask what we could do.  Neither of us wanted to leave the snake at the front door.  I found Jose and he said he has a pipe which he catches them in.  It was amazing that he just laid the pipe in front of the snake and the snake crawled in it.  Jose took the snake someplace (hopefully far away) and let him go.  Amazingly right after Jose left, I went to the truck and there was another snake behind it.  It wasn't a rattlesnake but I'm not sure what kind it was.  I just waited a few minutes until it slithered away.  We've been here for two weeks and this is the first time we've seen any snakes.  Not sure why they waited until the last day to appear but now we're very cautious walking outside.  Danny and Rebecca returned to Rex's place tonight but arrived very late so we didn't see them until the next morning.']

Tomorrow we are leaving Hidden Passage and hauling the trailer back to Desert Hot Springs, near Palm Springs, California.

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