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Joshua Tree 2-17-10

February 27, 2010

Russ, Brian and I loaded up at the free breakfast, then stole extra oatmeal, bagels, forks, knives, napkins, oranges or whatever we could fit in our pockets dirtbag style. We headed straight into the park. We were lucky to find site 35 open at the Real Hidden Valley. We pitched our tents and headed over to Echo Rock area. Brian lead Touch and Go and cleaned it on the way down so that I lead it as well.  Russ cleaned it all up and walked off the backside of the formation. We headed over to Pope’s Crack and Brian led it. Both Russ and I followed and topped out the formation before figuring out the descent.  We spent a lot of time exploring the top of the formation taking pictures on the summit and watching the sun head down.  A two route day, but lots of fun in the warm sun.

We headed into town stopping at Nomad for some last minute gear and food recommendations (and to be laughed at for asking about mountain biking and sport climbing). We ate at the La Casita, Mexican in Yucca Valley. It was alright and I wouldn’t protest returning. I think next time we’ll travel a few more yards and get to the (almost) recommended Las Palmas. Hehehehehe. We hit VONs and picked up some food for the next day, fire wood and wine.

We returned to the camp site and found 3 squatters in our site. They already had a fire going and their tents pitched. I told them they could stay if they moved there car but they decided to just pack up and leave, explaining they didn’t have any gas left….I couldn’t understand their logic. Once they left we through our logs on their ashes and split a bottle of wine. Ben from Fayetteville biked up and regaled us with stories about recovering bodies from famous High Sierra climbs before we went to our sleeping bags. I bunked up with Brian in his spacious Black Diamond single pole tent.

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