Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009


in response to adies last post, i am totally ready to get on planning some exact dates and areas of the park to see, suchlike things. i think we may have a pretty good place to start, when it comes to the dates we want to actually be IN the park. I know heather and darin and matt/amy/babes were planning on doing some tramping thru south dakota possibly, but i seem to remember that that part of the plan may have been scratched in order to supply more time in glacier. so...with that in mind, why dont we stay within the boundaries of Glacier for anywhere from 5 to 7 days (seven being ideal, and hopefully we can try and make that work for everyone. maybe 6. we'll see) And i know matt can get one week off work, so that might seem like wishful thinking, but six days could work, just with very quick drives each way....but matt, does a week mean sunday thru sunday? we could spend a monday thru saturday in glacier. thats six days.
anyways, some dates to get us thinking could be the second week in august, from august 10th thru 15th? (thats a monday thru saturday.) we can always expand. everyone should let me know how that sounds. and from there we can plan what nites we might want to do some backcountry stuff, do the going-to-the-sun road, whatnot.. anyways, anyone who wants to do some research about the park and areas they might want to see, let me know. if no one gives me some cool suggestions, im getting on it myself! and PLEASE let me know about dates, because i REALLY WANT TO SEND IN THE APPLICATION FOR A BACKPACKING PERMIT! let me know everyone. lets get this shiz begun. love josiph

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mikie's Right

We need to get ON the Glacier trip. Like start plannin every detail of the dates, where we want ta go, etc....immediately!
Family meeting anyone?

PS- below the Les Miz ones heather put up a blog about mine and hers and Art and Cam's road trip to Sonoma County.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

West Sonoma County Sojourn

To celebrate Cameron's birthday and my exam being finished, Addie, Art, Cameron and I went on a little road trip!

Starting out in the ol' LeBaron convertible. No muffler, bashed in sides, and all...i am sure we made quite a sight flying down the freeway!

Addie and Art wore matching caps they got for free from the Winesmith in Placerville.

Drinks at Ernie's Tin Shed, the classic roadside stop off, and then snacks from Andy's Market in Sebastopol where we also got free doughnuts!

Up the road in the deep foresty enchanted country of the Russian River, we had to finally ditch the old muffler which was hitting the ground regularly. Now that's a road trip!

It's an achingly beautiful drive. We are in love with all the old shingled river houses on stilts...we call them gypsy barracks.

Heading out to the ocean.

I took a picture in front of Joey's favorite sea shanties where he always used to say him, Stan, Martin and Matt Trudeau were going to live.

My favorite!

Then we headed back to Santa Rosa to our destination: the infamous Russian River Brewery where there was some live music playing that sounded just like Big Head Todd and the Monsters:

Now this is our favorite brewery on earth so far. They make such delicious and strangely tantalizing concoctions with names like Perdition, Sanctification, and Consecration. They were out of Addie's favorite: Mortification, but we did drink a few good old Pliny the Elders. YIKES. they are so so so good but they throw you for a loop.

We ended up having a great time gallivanting around downtown Santa Rosa through the night with new and old friends and staying in a cute little bungalow motel room that Addie reserved for us. It was a great time and I hope we'll go back soon.

Monday, April 20, 2009

While Heather was studying

Last week while Heather was knee-deep in books and study, and the rest of us were probably living our regular lives. Darin was working way too late, Dad was waking up way too early, Joey and Emily were watching Tim and Eric, Matt and Amy were scheming something brilliant, Adie and Art were laughing, Mom and Neddie were watching HG Network, Candice and I were on the Road.

Prior to being on the road, however, there's the matter of Emily's Birthday. Joseph Charles Beatty did a fine thing by sweeping up his lovely girl and bringing her to the temperate coastal habitats of Northern California. Their journey took them en route through our home in Santa Cruz, and the ensuing frenzies that would inevitably abound.

Earlier that night, the sunset had called us away to an empty beach up north, and in the glimmering evening light and frenetic winds I set up my camera to try to remember forever the joy of being with such amazing people:

The next day everybody left. Joey and Emma headed south to Big Sur, and Candice and I hit the road towards Sacramento. She was going to her parents for a night, and I to mine, for Easter Sunday.
The day of Easter was interesting. I did too many things in too few hours. Like, I went Snowboarding

and then drove straight to Vacaville for Easter dinner, which I was 45 minutes late for. Dinner at Candice's was actually very lovely, and her parents have the raddest home in a beautiful little cut of the central valley. Dad would surely love it.
The next morning, the two of us woke early, tossed some gear and propane tanks into her car and took off south on I-5 towards Southern California. Where were the winds taking us?

Down long, dusty highways

Through forests of windymills

alongside prehistoric monsters

between cavernous rocks

all the way to Joshua Tree national park.

Now, this place is a very different type of place. What I realized about National Parks on this trip is that there is no other place in the world like them and that's why they need to be safe. Of course then it got me thinking that every place in the world is like no other place, and therefore every place should be recognized and preserved too.
But here...Joshua Tree, there is life and geology and cultural influence like I've never seen.
First, we camped. Our campsite was outside of the park by a hair, but there are backpacking trails that could lead us into Joshua Tree if we wanted to take them. With running water and slightly-posh bathrooms, the campground was surprisingly desolate and wildly windy. So we pull up in the evening, throw down a tent and I bust out my single-burning propane stove to light up a delicious Indian vegetarian dinner. We wine and dine and admire being so distant from the world, and sleep like babies in the desert floor.
Next morning, I snapped a photo before we took of to check out Joshua Tree.

OK. So this park is truly something to behold.
We get there, and the rocks that have formed over the course of 3 million years will blow your mind.

It was awesome.
Here's some panoramics to try to do these landscapes justice.
Click on them to get a better feel for the park.

We drove up one peak and hiked another. The first was a lookout you can drive to called Keys View. I think the elevation was around 6,000 ft, and you can see the mountains above Palm Springs, all the way to the Salton Sea.

Then we drove to the trailhead for Lost Horse Mine (a place I was very excited to see). Lost Horse Mine is a gold mine that was built and abandoned during the early 20th century, headed up by a man named Johnny Lang. It's far from everything, difficult to get to, and almost totally untouched. The hike was graced with some excellent conversation about gold mining and why our society has come to an economic standstill. Good stuff.

Next up was a journey to Skull Rock, an actual skull of a giant from hundreds of thousands of years ago, and also the entrance to Skeletor's Lair.

That night we were pretty tired - but the land wasn't. Around 6 in the evening, winds of 50-60 miles an hour began battering the desert, spraying dust and rocks and camping gear in all directions. Like a lifeless flag in an ocean storm, our tent flapped and rattled ceaselessly from 6pm to 6am. But we had an excellent dinner

and slept patiently in the car, knowing that before long the dawn will break again

So we got up, and headed straight to the opposite end of Joshua Tree park, a 2 hour drive through barren utter gorgeous wasteland, with zero roads, and zero people except the two of us. Our mission was to climb Mastodon Peak, a mountain that overlooks an oasis and some vast wonderlands of rock. But on the way, oh the wonders of the desert wasteland. There were all sorts of strange and beautiful plantlife - almost like you were on a dry ocean floor. Ocotillos, chullos, Joshuas and cactus flowers made for a very exciting drive.

Here's some chullos we made friends with

We get to the Palms Oasis early in the warm day. There was tons to see.
Like, an Oasis

a peak to climb (Mastodon Peak)

a split rock

praying hands

an abandoned gold mine

and two blabes

This was definitely the moment of the trip. There's something about standing at the top of a peak that really satisfies.
But the day waned into dusk and we made our way back down from Mastodon Peak.

On the drive back, we stopped to wonder if anybody had ever climbed Pinto Mountain before. There was this a future backpacking trip? It certainly would be a cool one.

As we reached the Northern half of the park, our last stop took us to Arch Rock, a famous spot in this place that won't be around too long, since the rocks erode so quickly. So we enjoyed the sunset, and said goodnight to Joshua Tree.

On the way back to the campsite, we decided to make one final stop: a local dining adventure at the luxurious Applebee's. After forty-four ounces of Blue Moon, we were ready to go back home and get comfortable in our sleeping bags for a perfect night's sleep.
And that's exactly what we did

Next morning, the sun was shining, the wind nixed and nilled, and the open road calling our names

So we packed up our gear, loaded the Honda and got back on the highways heading East, through the windymills, Palm Springs, Rancho Cucamonga, Glendale, San Fernando, the Grapevine, up I-5 to the vast central valley that we all know so well. I must say, this trip made me look at all the things around me, that I see every single day, with a revised notion of respect and honor. The natural world around us is fragile yet so powerful, and no matter how hard we try we will always be a part of it. It's nice to be reminded of that. Thank you Joshua Tree.

Ye End