Monday, August 31, 2009

Heading Home~Our First Night On The Trail

(June 2, 2009) After we said our sad goodbye’s we headed for out first camp spot…..just 134 miles from Pasadena.  After passing thru the San Gabriel mountains, we stopped at a rest stop above the high desert town of Palmdale, CA to stretch our legs.  We’ve been here before & I love the view down below this rest stop.  There’s a few windmills, a bunch of beautiful homes and water.   The water is the California Aqueduct running thru this area.  My picture does not do the beauty of this area justice.  And during the summer months there’s a warm, dry wind blowing~all the time. 

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From there we continued onto Lancaster, CA.  We stopped there to shop at their super Wal Mart and thankfully there was a Mc Donald’s inside the Wal Mart because in the hot, dry windy climate I really needed one of their Iced Coffee’s (large)!

Continuing on down the highway we come to Mojave, CA and their airplane graveyard.  It’s eerie to see the row after row of planes that are just parked.  I understand they do give tours of their ‘flight line’ maybe next time we’ll take the time to do that.

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Before too long we come to our destination.  We camped here before and I’ve Blogged about this place before…but this area is such a wondrous sight  I have to mention it again.   It’s the Ricardo Campground in California’s Red Rock Canyon State Park on Highway 14.

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The state of California established this area as a state park in 1968. This area was used a Native American trade route for hundreds of years and in about 1850, the survivors of the famous Death Valley trek passed thru Red Rock Canyon.  Then in 1893 placer gold activity began with hundreds of miners sifting the sands of the canyon.  The canyon has been used as a passage for driving large flocks of sheep to the north, as a stage coach stop, as a railroad route and as a truck stop.   It has also been used as a location for Hollywood movies.    

As you travel thru or camp in this area you’ll see the unique and colorful layers of white, pink, red and brown cliffs.  The fluted folds are the result of wind & rain eroding the softer materials beneath the dark caprocks, which were formed by a harder lava flow layer.

Like most people I always imagined the desert as empty and uninteresting.  But I’ve learned to love and appreciate these dry arid areas.  So very different from the Pacific Northwest where I live.

The last time we camped here, the Joshua trees were in bloom….truly a beautiful sight.  

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All of the campsites are backed by these awesome cliffs.

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Night in the desert~so quiet and peaceful.

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The next morning we’re up and cooking breakfast.

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Linda’s campground scramble (I make it at home too)

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Joshua Trees

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As we drove out of the campground, we were already looking forward to our next visit there. Such a beautiful, peaceful place.

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(June 3, 2009)    After leaving the campground our next destination was Ridgecrest, CA.  My paternal grandfather lived there the last 25-30 years of his life.   He was a professional photographer, artist and businessman.  He and his wife (my step grandma) owned and operated Desert Graphic Arts for many years.  His business logo was the Joshua Tree, so as a youngster I grew to love them but I was an adult before I finally saw one growing in their natural habitat. Anyway it had been several years since I’d visited his resting place, so once we got into town we went out to the cemetery so I could leave some flowers.

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After that we stopped at the local Goodwill and did some shopping.   I should never go in those places because I always find books to buy. This time was no exception, plus I found 2 blouses for $2.75 each.  This GW was very clean and well organized~it was really fun looking around there.  

As we left Ridgecrest and headed for the Highway 14/Highway 395 junction the weather began to change.  To be continued~


  1. Hi Linda, I have not been around too much this summer, it has been quite busy. I always think of you and your kindness, and really enjoy, travelling with you through your blog. The pictures of the desert on this part of your trip are absolutely breathtaking. I also looked at the previous entry and all of the photos are equally beautiful. Thank you for taking the time to tell about your travels, I always feel that I have learned a great deal through them. Your narrative as far as I am concerned and your photos should be put into a documentary of California, it is so professionally well done. Looking forward to see many more entries of your wonderful travels.

  2. Linda, The pictures were beautiful, loved he desert scenes.
    I see your Grandfather was in the signal corp
    I too was in Communications section of a field artillery battery.
    Thankls for sharing.

  3. ((((((((((((((((((((HUGSTOYOU)))))))))))))))))ASOME!!!!!!!!!!!!Have a nice week

  4. The desert and cliff pictures are awesome.


  5. Good desert pictures. I was only in the desert once, in a car, at night. Couldn't see much.


  6. What wonderful pictures. I love the desert also and think it beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I had never seen Joshua trees growing until this year when we went to AZ. So cool your grandfather was a photographer. Do you have any of his photos. Your desert photos are so inviting.
    Hugs, Barb


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