Thursday, March 31, 2011

Joshua Tree NP, Berdoo Canyon Road

Thursday: (03/31) For breakfast we had choreso with potatoes and eggs. We then  headed out the Geology Road and Berdoo Road to Indio. We weren't able to get a guide for the Geology Road tour. Haven't been any the last couple of days at the kiosk at the beginning of the road. There also was nothing on the NPS website and there isn't a ranger station anywhere close so with nothing to guide us, we drove the Geology Road.

Flowers? Lizard Sunning
An unusual flower or plant. And a lizard sunning in the desert. The road goes down into an area known as Pleasant Valley which is quite pleasant. There are some numbered posts along the way that were intended to point put something, we're sure but without more we didn't know to to look for so didn't stop. We did see our first roadrunner of the season along the road. There are some areas that might provide for some good hikes in the future as well.

Jack Rabbit Coming Jack Rabbit Going
We saw this jack rabbit on the Geology Tour Road.

Begining Berdoo Canyon Road Berdoo Canyon Road Rough Spot
After completing the geology Road we continued out Berdoo Canyon Road which starts at the end of the Geology Tour Road. The road starts out nice and is nice for about half the way. It, like the loop road at the end of the tour, are 4x4 roads. Actually any vehicle with high clearance could make it easily on the Geology Tour Road. Same for the first half of the Berdoo road as well but there are two location starting about 7-10 mile out on Berdoo Road where high clearance, 4x4, and some skill or luck are needed to pass through. When you enter the canyon you come upon a decision point.

Berdoo Canyon Road Rough Spot Berdoo Canyon Road Rough Spot
We met a couple of hummers that had been set up as tour buses. They come up the road from Indio or? The driver stopped and mentioned the two spots that were rough and said we should look at the one just a mile further and decide if we "really" wanted to continue. We looked and did continue. We had to study the approach and carefully go through but we made it with no problems. Sometimes, on these kinds of challenges, we walk quite a ways to be sure we can get through and/or get back out if needed. Lou guided me through so I didn't hit the big rocks I couldn't see on the right. There often is only inches of clearance on some of these passages. The hummer, with much more clearance and bigger tires, just went over some of the spots we had to avoid. I'm not sure what the passengers on the tour hummers thought when our little jeep went through so "easily"? Then, of course, there is the "fact" I'm so skilled at doing it with my 2-3 similar excursions?

Cactus Flowers Cactus Flowers
We did see some wonderful flowers when we stopped. They really don't show up well from inside the Jeep? We started the trip a little after 9am and were in Indio by 1pm.

After a couple of stops at thrift stores I accidentally passed too close to on the way into town, we stopped at Sloan's Restaurant for lunch. I had the CF steak and Lou the super nachos, all good. We then did our laundry. The dirty clothes got a nice tour today. Then we did some shopping and returned back to camp via the highway which isn't as short (67 miles) but much easier. Especially since it was dark before we got home and that 4x4 road would have been much more challenging in the dark. Dinner was apples and peanut butter.

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