We knew that we needed to make the most of our last days here, so we hit some of the spots we didn’t want to miss. And we had a glorious day for it. As it turned out Sunday, March 15, 2020 was the last time we ventured into Joshua Tree National Park.
First up was a return to Barker Dam to check it out post rainfalls. We had been there early days (day 12) with GP and Andrea but this visit was quite different with the water levels much higher – and I didn’t lose Michael this time! At the dam I chatted with a park ranger about the wild flowers, Joshua trees and cactus flowering while Michael took photos.
The park is well known for rock climbing for obvious reasons. Our next stop was to check out the climbers in the ‘Hall of Horrors’ where several groups were partaking. Some were learners in orientation groups, others more advanced out on their own. Almost all brought mats carried in on their backs which they layed out at the base of their climb; just in case.
Out very last trek in the park was to Ryan Ranch and Lost Horse Mine. The ranch was built in 1896 by the family who owned the richest mine in the area. The views from the homestead were impressive, as were the cactus gardens. Mrs. Ryan made an effort to collect as many different cactii as possible and although left to nature for decades, many varieties still thrive there. The ranch burned down in 1978 (suspected arson) but in the 2000’s archaelogists worked to preserve the adobe remains. So the remnants are still clearly visible, including what was apparently their midden!
And so ended our adventures into Joshua Tree National Park.