Monday, January 30, 2017

Astronauts & Janet Granite

Our modus operandi is not to drive in order to reach a destination, but to enjoy the journey.  So we take a dirt road south along a abandoned narrow-gauge railroad.  We read that this part of the desert was used to train Apollo Astronauts in anticipation of moon landing.

At this point the road also skirts a military practice range.  A little disconcerting, but the signs are helpful in knowing where the road is meant to be.

The dirt road is a fine adventure - and a good drive until we pass under the trestle nearing highway 111 along the eastern shore of Salton Sea. 

 So many off-road vehicles have cruised here that the road is just rough.  How rough is it?

Bubbe's delight:  I send track & trestle photos to Gabe thinking the train track photos will impress him. I add this one of the jumbled interior of Q after the rough ride.  His reaction, "Pringles!"

There must be something about meandering in the desert.  Alex periodically changes his name as alter-egos emerge.  Cactus Pete is grizzled and a man of few words.  Still, he is adept at surviving in the desert with little use of external resources.  He scorns cell phone and Internet and can easily read sand and clouds to predict the weather. And finds his way without use of GPS - which isn't available so far from cell phone towers anyway.

The preferred environment of Joshua Trees is high desert.  In the national park, the high desert is decorated with massive granite boulders.  One Monzo Granite is like Cactus Pete, a man of few words, but with a ton of resoluteness appropriate to someone made hefty by rock.  At the heart of both Cactus Pete and Monzo Granite is the truly kind human, Alex.  As long as he is Monzo, I'll be Janet.

We return to camp a night at the Salton Sea as we rest up before heading for Organ Pipe National Monument.

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