– Perhaps another glimpse of impermanence –
Joshua Tree N.P.
Joshua Tree has become a secret reference point for me, an annual test: can I still climb this rock?
My old rotten knee has finally become a real problem. For decades, in a rather arrogant way, I had tried to deny it – pain is just a subjective interpretation of a normal body reaction – now it forces me to adapt in more realistic ways.
But so far this still works. It’s normal walking that becomes more of a problem.
Cacti in Joshua Tree
Not snow but salt. The salt pools of Amboy.
There is still rain and snow over the Sierras, the winter was very rough this year, we heard, so we stay way east this time on our slow trek home.
Kelso Sand Dunes, a new place, we hadn’t seen yet. A big chunk of mountain, all made up of sand, sitting there in the middle of nowhere.
We rest there for a few days and drink in all the boundless space.
These dunes are 600 feet tall; it’s a bit of a workout to walk up there.
My 71-year-old baby – she never gets old …
… leaping and bouncing down the mountain.
We are always a bit desert-fatigued by now. 6 months in the desert takes its toll. The glare of the sun begins to torture our eyes, the skin is dry and cracked; we dream of green and clouds.
* * *
Tecopa hot springs, another new exotic hot spring on our way; not bad, but we know better ones.
* * *
And then Death Valley is not far.
This time of the year it is quite pleasant there. Down at Furnace Creek it is already in the mid 90s though.
High up from Dantes View the valley always looks spectacular.
No water, but salt again. The sewage of an entire mountain system. Deep down on the right – 5000 feet below – you can see the lonely road through Death Valley.
Corpses of rivers, bone dry now, almost 300 feet below sea level.
From over 5000 feet you can see little ants of people below walking out onto the salt flats.
In the cool of the morning we ride our bike up to Zabriskie Point:
A fantastic place of eroded colorful mud formations.
Like with so many things in Death Valley you think something is wrong with your color perception…
… but its all real.
Once, years ago, we rode our mountain bikes along these crazy paths on those ridges.
* * *
Dreams of moisture – fantasies of water.
This environment is so extremely dry that you can catch yourself hallucinating about water.
* * * * *
We move on north through the desolate open space of Nevada
Klaus last days of March 2011