Picture Pages – Volume California (Bishop to Joshua Tree National Park)

After less than 24 hours in Vegas,  which apparently hasn’t looked in a mirror or smelled itself lately, we were all too excited to beat feet out of there and take the scenic route through Death Valley to visit family in Bishop, CA. Old Charley once again proved his worthiness by doing a champion job of climbing to over 5,000 feet, dropping below sea level, and climbing another high pass or two to arrive at the doorstep (Lone Pine, CA) of the highest point in the contiguous US, Mt. Whitney, before continuing north to Bishop.

Our time in Bishop was short, but we made the most of it by catching up on the latest, resetting for our next camping adventure, and going off on an excursion to some of the areas favored by local climbers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Buttermilks

The Sierras are the reason I feel disoriented whenever I can’t see mountains on the horizon.

Buttermilks Too

A fun foray using 4WD (instead of our usual own two feet) brought us into some cool rock formations known locally as the “Buttermilks”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sus and Dani

Family by choice. ❤

DandL Buttermilk Biscuit

No special equipment (or even appropriate footwear) needed to climb these babies! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sierra Sunset

Sierra sunset on frozen South Lake.

Passageway

Wandering among the rocks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Charley

We’ve given up decorating for the holidays, but Charley got some temporary cheer on anyway. 😉

 

Continuing to put the last vestiges of my benefits to good use, we busted out the trusty National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands pass yet again at the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park and arrived at our campsite just in time to catch the requisite Sunsets and Silhouettes show.

JTNP sky

JNP 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lance picked out a nice 7.2 mile hike to the Lost Palms Canyon Oasis and we (okay, I) spotted seven little lizards, the Salton Sea, and all manner of interesting desert plant life along our trek.

Red Cacti

Red is magical anywhere. But maybe especially so in the desert.

Ocotillo

Ocotillo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lost Palms Found

Lost Palms: Found.

This morning, on our way out of the park, we thought we’d catch the Joshua trees in the daylight and pay a quick visit to the Cholla Garden while we were in the neighborhood.

Cholla Garden

Sometimes called “Teddy Bear” or “Jumping Cactus”, these faux fuzzies are cool to behold and, to my mind, underrepresented in your standard desert art.

Cholla 1

These guys are so fuzzy looking, I had to make sure my pictures were in focus. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cholla Fruit

Cholla fruit. Even when the spines fall off do not touch them. Lance learned this the hard way.

Stages

Life and death of a cactus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inner Workings

The inner workings of a bygone plant.

 

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