South to Spring: Death Valley, Mojave, Joshua Tree, Anza Borrego, Organ Pipe

Occidental

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Oct 8, 2015
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Clearwater Watershed, Idaho
I'm working on a new series of trip reports. We spent a bit over three weeks (planned to be longer, but, life...) exploring the southern California desert with an unplanned side trip to Arizona due to an extreme wind storm that blew us out of California for a few days. We visited Death Valley National Park, the Mojave National Preserve as well as other locations in the Mojave Desert around Barstow, Joshua Tree, Anza Borrego State Park and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

The backstory is, we had planned to go to Baja, Mexico, but that trip didn't come together. Next year I hope. Then, we thought we'd just enjoy winter in Idaho, but winter didn't ever seem to show. Sick of the freeze thaw, rain and mud, without many prospects for getting out and about, we decided to speed up spring by heading south. So our trip is dubbed: South to Spring.

I'm breaking the posts into small(er) bits, so I have several more posts to make. As of now I have the Death Valley segment posted. I'll add links to the rest of the report as I get them done, likely over the next week or two.

I hope you enjoy.

South to Spring (trip intro)
South to Spring | Exploring Death Valley Part 1: Echo Canyon
South to Spring | Exploring Death Valley Part 2: Hole in the Wall, Lake Manly and Beyond
Video: Exploring Death Valley | South to Spring Episode 1
South to Spring | Mojave National Preserve Part 1: Caruthers Canyon
South to Spring | Mojave National Preserve Part 2: Hole in the Wall
South to Spring | Mojave National Preserve Part 3: Kelso Dunes
Video: Meandering the Mojave | South to Spring Episode 2
South to Spring | Beyond Barstow
Video: Rock Art and Rough Roads | South to Spring Episode 3
South to Spring | Hiking Joshua Tree
South to Spring | Conversation With a Ranger
Video: Strolling Through Joshua Tree | South to Spring Episode 4
South to Spring | Anza Borrego Part 1
South to Spring | Organ Pipe Part 1
South to Spring | Organ Pipe Part 2
Video: Escape to Organ Pipe | South to Spring Episode 5
South to Spring | Anza Borrego Part 2
South to Spring | Anza Borrego Part 3
Video: Wildflowers and Washes of Anza Borrego | South to Spring Episode 6
 
Very nice start to your quest for Spring! We're looking forward to the following installments. :)

In regards to Spring, our peach trees have blossoms and it is snowing here this morning.
 
I enjoyed the whole series! Amazing to see how regulated parts of DV have become in the last four years.

My trip visiting Hole in the Wall was twenty years ago, car camping. Driving out, the wash was wide and I gave my 15 year old son the wheel of our Chevy Tahoe. He promptly grazed some brush and added some pinstripes to my paint job. I don't think we saw anyone else.

Looking forward to your journey farther south.
 
Mr. Ski, I hope your peach blossoms survived the storm!

Thanks Frank.

Lightwawk, Hole in the Wall was a bit busier for us. Among the traffic on the road were about a dozen adventure bikers buzzing up and down the road, and a guy filming his trip up the road with his drone in tow (not allowed, but....). Still a nice visit though.
 
The pictures don;'t load for me on the last one - Anza Borrego.

So cool to see your descriptions of place we also JUST visited. My write up is much slower in coming....
 
Following your trip and seeing your photos has been great, but like Vic's experience, no photos load on the last installment. I think we may have stayed in the same campground that you used in Joshua Tree!
 
Thanks Vic and dr.tucson for the heads up on the pictures for the Anza Borrego post. I've replaced the photos and I'm hoping they are now visible. This is something that has happened on a couple posts, and I'm not certain of the issue. It's difficult to troubleshoot as they show up across all our devices. It seems to be something particular to Apple and/or Safari which we don't have either.

Vic, I'll be interested in seeing your report if you post it. I think I read on another thread you were out for ~60 days? That's a good run!
 
Hilarious post about the government process for collecting fees. I worked for our government and we had a saying; “if it makes sense, do the opposite since that will be what gets approved.”
 
Occidental said:
Thanks Vic and dr.tucson for the heads up on the pictures for the Anza Borrego post. I've replaced the photos and I'm hoping they are now visible. This is something that has happened on a couple posts, and I'm not certain of the issue. It's difficult to troubleshoot as they show up across all our devices. It seems to be something particular to Apple and/or Safari which we don't have either.

Vic, I'll be interested in seeing your report if you post it. I think I read on another thread you were out for ~60 days? That's a good run!
yup, 64 days.... I find it really difficult to spend time on writing up a trip report vs spending more time outside....
 
Sledawg said:
Hilarious post about the government process for collecting fees. I worked for our government and we had a saying; “if it makes sense, do the opposite since that will be what gets approved.”
I thought this was super funny too, since we had experienced the same thing there.... so strange!!!
 
Yes, the fee collection and reservation is a common source of frustration for me, but Joshua Tree is over the top.

Vic, I agree on the tradeoffs of trip reports vs more time on the next trip, or just outside. Which is one of the reasons why it's taken a while to get this report to the finish line. But in the end, for us, it's a nice way to look back at where we've been.
 

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