All posts tagged: Joshua Tree National Park

A Road Warrior’s Guide to Joshua Tree, CA

From the Dr. Seuss trees to the piles of rocks that scatter the landscape – Joshua Tree National Park is truly a unique and other worldly destination. For climbers, it’s the perfect escape when winter blankets most of the country. Here’s some beta to get you through a weekend, month, or season in JTree: Camping Campgrounds in Joshua Tree National Park *Camping Limit: There is a 30 day camping limit each year. (Only 14 of these nights may take place from October – May.) Black Rock Campground Cost: $20/night Amenities: water, flush toilets, dump station, reservations available October – May Indian Cove Campground Cost: $20/night Amenities: water at the Indian Cove Ranger Station, pit toilets, reservations available October – May Group Sites: $35-50/night (depending on site capacity, reservations required) Hidden Valley Campground Cost: $15/night Amenities: pit toilets  Ryan Campground Cost: $15/night Amenities: pit toilets Sheep Pass Group Campground Cost: $35-50/night (depending on site capacity, reservations required) Amenities: pit toilets Jumbo Rocks Campground Cost: $15/night Amenities: pit toilets Belle Campground Cost: $15/night Amenities: pit toilets White Tank Campground Cost: $15/night Amenities: pit toilets Cottonwood Campground Cost: $20/night Amenities: flush toilets, water, dump station Group …

Goodbye Old Man Winter

Adam and I are celebrating – celebrating the beginning of February, which means that the worst of winter is behind us (hopefully). This winter in the van has been particularly challenging. From enduring the biting cold of 10 degree nights in Bishop, to a week straight of snow and rain in Red Rock, to a weekend of 50 mph winds and flooding in Joshua Tree, we just couldn’t seem to escape the frosty clutch of winter. Ice covered windshields and snow covered landscapes followed us from one desert to the next. Every day tasks -cooking, getting dressed, going to the bathroom – were a struggle. I wore the same pair of long johns under all my layers for over a week because it was solely too cold to even consider exposing my bare skin to the raw air. The constant cold numbed us. My motivation to climb dwindled. My motivation to run disappeared. I found no pleasure being outside. I simply wanted to feel warm again. And then, the other morning, Adam and I woke up to …

Climbing Past Injury

As climbers we demand a lot from our bodies, especially our fingers. Hand injuries are among the most common injuries for rock climbers, and as a result, are also some of the most feared. When I first injured my hand I scoured the Internet looking for the answer to my pain. I read about flexor tendon tears, collateral ligament strains, hairline fractures, and A2 pulley strains and tears. The fear of four to six weeks sidelined seemed to be a growing reality in my mind. Images of tendons snapping like rubber bands and ligaments shredded like corn beef haunted my dreams. As much as I wanted to avoid the hassle of a doctor’s visit, I made an appointment. I wasn’t exactly aware that I had injured my hand when it happened. I was climbing the start of O’Kelley’s Crack (in Joshua Tree National Park), which starts as a thin crack just high enough off the ground to make it a challenge to reach. I repeatedly tried the same strenuous move – left hand in an …

Running from Injury

The trail paralleled the main road entering the park. My body felt slow and heavy, weighed down by far too many thoughts. Each step was cumbersome. I stopped at a small boulder and cautiously climbed the featured face with one hand, careful to keep my right hand safely tucked behind my back. Five weeks – that’s how long it has been since I’ve climbed on rock. I can’t remember the last time I’d gone this long without climbing. I don’t want to remember. Adam and I considered ourselves lucky. We’d never experienced a serious injury from climbing, or from anything for that matter, up until now. I replayed the climb over in my head. Hindsight taunted me with my own reckless behavior, but offered no capacity for change. Stubbornness had willed me to try the same strenuous move over and over and over, until finally my hand stuck in the crack – but not without consequences. Once lowered off the climb, I leaned my right hand against a rock to untie my shoes. White-hot pain …

Ode to Vagabonds

What is home? As someone who lives in a car, someone who has been referred to as “homeless” on more than one occasion, this is something I am constantly trying to define. <a href="”> Read More…