We went up the road a little ways to our favorite wildflower area on the way in to the Joshua Tree NP. Not too many flowers there this year. Timing is everything plus the weather seemed to have delayed or terminated some of the flower season this year with the late freeze.
We continued in to the park to Cottonwood Spring. We hiked down Cottonwood Wash all the way back to the highway coming in to the park then back up the wash until we headed to the East by some other springs back up to the trail that goes to the Lost Oasis then back to the car.
We had better luck on this trail.
The Cottonwood Wash is another of our favorite flower hunting locations.
An interesting lizard was seen. This is the only one of this type seen. It was nice of it to pose.
Then it was fun time. We stopped at the beginning of Pinkham Canyon Road and read the kiosk signs. They said to be sure to let someone know where you were going. It is a 20 mile jeep road and there is no cell phone there so we respected the sign which said we could check in at the ranger station (across the street) to let them know where we were going. It was news to the volunteer there but she took a note from us. I find that an ounce of prevention usually eliminates the need for a pound of cure. We didn't get very far up the road before we had to stop. A turtle was crossing the road. I got out and took a few pictures staying back 20 feet or so as instructed by powers that be. The beast just sat there for a long time so we backed up some to get out of his sight. It worked. He(?) started walking, toward us. Just then, another car came speeding down the road toward us and the turtle. It is barely a single lane wide road and we were parked in the middle but I did move back up closer to the turtle and we were waving our hands for them to stop. They approached very close to the turtle, jumped out and grabbed it and placed in away from the road. Not supposed to do that. It can cause them to urinate and loose all there needed water and die. It is a desert, after all and it is their home, not ours. But, at least they didn't run over it. It was over a 12 inch turtle, a beauty. We continued on out the road. The first 12 miles of the road is fairly uneventful just winding among the shrubs on a pretty flat road going slightly uphill. After that it is a little more exciting with heavy sand and gravel washes with occasional big rocks and deep ruts for another 5 miles or so. Then it heads out toward I8 through Pinkham Canyon. Parts of that were quite rugged including some extreme rocks and extremely narrow passages.
There were some nice flowers as we exited the canyon.
As the road exits the canyon it becomes extremely sandy and narrow for the last couple of miles before exiting out onto the nice gravel road used by the LA Water Dept for their pipeline.
We took the gravel pipeline road all the way back to our camp. We stopped about 15 miles out for lunch of Lou's Treet (spam), red and green peppers, jalapeno cheese and olive salad. Pinkham Canyon Road is referred to on some of the signs as Pinkham "Trail", probably more appropriate than "Road". We relaxed the rest of the late afternoon and evening. Lou fixed Talapia fish with Spanish rice and fresh cauliflower for dinner.