An Afternoon In Joshua Tree

September 16, 2010

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Before I begin today, I want to request something from you. I know most of you people have Facebook accounts. Maybe we’re friends, maybe we’re not. That’s not what matters now. What matters is that you became a fan of the Top Chef: Just Desserts Facebook page and click the “Like” button attached to my photograph. If I want to win the $5,000 prize I need as many votes as possible. Tell your friends. Have your friends tell their friends. I never ask you people for anything (except for that one time a few years ago I held a donation marathon, and that was a whopping success). Furthermore, if you want to help me live out my dream of meeting Gail Simmons, you need to use your Twitter account to re-tweet this Tweet so that it continually appears in her @mentions. Again, tell your friends, followers and family members. I refuse to let the Gail Simmons dream die. Who are you to deny me? A federale? Please. Nothing will stand between me and my alien-eyed, big-tittied TV crush. If you’re reading this, Gail, there’s still time to dump your loser husband. You’re not over the hill just yet.

Yesterday I retired to the desert for some much needed rest and relaxation. And I chose to spend my day hiking the trail to Lost Horse Mine (an absolute must for some amazing canyon views and easy hiking), tripping out on the views from Keys View, and finally taking in sunset from the Jumbo Rocks area. I was lucky enough to meet two very cool East Coast travelers on the path to the old gold mine. They didn’t mind my tagging along for the hike, and we all got along very well. Shirley and Brendan were their names. There was plenty of talk of life back east, food out west, and travel. It was like we’d known each other for, well, a few hours. The rest of the time (after the 6.2 mile hike) I was on my own. It was a great day. Lots of sun (temperatures neared 100 in the desert yesterday), not too many people, and a ton of photo opportunities. Behold! Joshua Tree (again!). Click to enlarge any of the pictures.

This is near the start of the trail to the Lost Horse Mine. It’s a 6.2 mile loop, or you can take a straight 2-mile “shortcut” to the mine.

All told, the walk to the mine takes about 45 minutes if you're really going at a good pace. The German dudes who were leaving when I approached said 90-minutes each way. Liars.

A fire must have struck the area recently because most of the trees in the area were charred black.

There were plenty of lizards and even a snake spotted along the way. You have to keep your eyes open, you don't want to accidentally cross paths with a rattler.

This is the mine as seen from the ridge above the entrance. Sorry the pictures are slightly out of order here.

Some piece of machinery. I don't know what this shit does. I've never worked in a mine.

At the top of the ridge behind the mine there is a amazing view of the canyon beyond it. This is not that canyon, but it's from the same vantage point.

There's the mine entrance. For some reason they gated the thing so no one would wander into the shaft. Who would do something stupid like that? Me? Probably...

Some other direction as seen from above the mine.

The trail back, as seen from the top of the hill above the mine.

Ok, this and the next two photos are the canyon beyond the mine. Stunning.

It's about four o'clock now. Maybe five.

The Mine as seen from a distance. It's getting smaller. We're walking back towards the parking lot.

Keys View. One of the most amazing spots in the entire park. If only it weren't for the wasps chasing me around and the woman projectile vomiting nearby.

Keys View. In the distance there on the left you can see the Salton Sea. Totally amazing. Too bad it's a bit hazy.

Close-up on the Salton Sea. Who knew it was so close. Or that the elevation here was so high (I think it's something like 4,800 feet?)

The sun is slowly starting to set. It's time to leave Keys View and head over to Jumbo Rocks.

Okay, one more photo from Keys View.

Jumbo Rocks. Sunset. All is right in the world.

Hello, moon.

Okay, it's time to leave. See you next time, Joshua Tree!


  1. Stephen

    Great photos. Some of the mountain sunset ones are postcard-perfect.

  2. |

    But did you ever find the horse?

  3. MikeM

    damn, I really wanna go there someday

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