Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Icing on the Grand Canyon Cake

After seeing the waterfalls 12 miles deep in the Grand Canyon everything else was just icing on the cake. When we left the south rim we headed in the general direction of Joshua Tree National Park. Yup, just the general direction, no plans, the sun was going down, no reservations, just an idea. We knew we had a tent, and by find a way to camp the Grand Canyon when we were firmly told it was impossible we actually felt like we couldn't really do anything wrong. We were more right than we realized. As night fell we watched a beautiful sunset on the highway in Arizona. After following the Atlas for hours it showed us there were camping sites on Lake Havasu that wasn't too far out of our path. We thought that since our stop at Havasupi Falls went so well it'd be stupid to pass up a chance to go to the Lake Havasu (completely unrelated places).

We went and camped but because we came so late and left so early the night was FREE!!! That's always good price for travelers. We did wake up and take a dip in the water, were able to get showered up, and took in some of the beautiful scenery. It's too bad we didn't hang around long enough to meet some of the locals, I've since heard that Lake Havasu can be a pretty crazy place to party. Eh, well maybe next time.

We were only a short drive from Joshua Tree from there and we were able to get to get there and spend the whole day hiking. This place is strait out of the Flintstones. The rock formations make you feel like your back in the day of the dinosaurs. We went everywhere we could, and that purchase of 80 bottles of water (for $3.50 a 20 pack, thank you Walmart) way back in Vegas was still paying dividends.

I was amazed that I felt the beauty of this area was comparable to that of the south rim of the Grand Canyon, but there was no comparison in the amount of tourists. Joshua Tree seemed empty, while the south rim was like a crowded super market. I liked the openness of Joshua Tree. We ended up camping there beside some huge boulders strategically to be in the shad when the sun rose the next morning. Thanks to Cousin Billy I was able to teach Tobi how to find the North Star and even though I never thought it would come in handy, then next morning waking up in the shade felt so good temperature wise, but even better as an accomplishment for the both of us.

Joshua Tree is a hot place, but it's amazing to see all the different types of plants that can survive in that environment. It was also a place for mining many years ago and you can take a short break from the heat inside some mine shafts if your lucky.
One of the coolest experiences at Joshua Tree was when we met a couple riding there motorcycle through the area. They were very friendly (as most travelers tend to be) but they were just completely taken by the situation of Tobi and I. They were many years older than us and had been to some amazing places but they couldn't believe that a guy from Switzerland met a guy from Jersey, in Vegas, and that we were having such an amazing time traveling around together. It kind of made us feel even better about an already good situation. Like I said, everything was just icing on the cake from here on out.

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