Thursday, March 16, 2017

2 Dans at it again: Joshua Tree, Idlewild and mucho tequila

My sidekick and never complaining ride companion, Dan, wanted to do a camp/ride in Joshua Tree Nat'l Park. I was all in. Having knackered the KTM's front brakes, I decided to take the KLR.

We met in Escondido early on Sunday and headed for Borrego Springs right away. The desert wildflowers were in full bloom and the craziness was, too. I've never seen traffic like that on the Montezuma Grade. The number to number traffic started in Ranchita and didn't end until almost the airport. To give you an idea of how bad it was, there was over two miles of cars waiting to turn left at the Ranchita/79 junction.

Carlee's was to be our first stop but it was packed. We rode on to the airport for a quick drink, but it was closed. Dang! Onward to the stinky sea...

We stopped at a Mexican restaurant at the Salton Sea, then took Box Canyon to the I-10, crossing the freeway and straight into JT NP. It was a beautiful ride through the national park. The weather was perfect and the road was smooth. Lots of folks enjoying the day.

We arrived to the town of JT and headed for an old haunt, the JT Saloon, for beers, tequila, poke and hot wings: Total for 1 hour = $150 bar tab!

We headed for the Black Rock Canyon campground on the edge of the park and set up camp just before dark. It was brisk but not too cold. The last time we were here--almost 3 years ago--it was very windy and we were dusted with snow overnight. This time the temperature didn't drop below 50 at night.

Relaxing with more tequila, we talked about the day's highlights and plannned some upcoming rides. The smell of nearby campfires and the sight of a rising full moon over the snow-capped mountains was a great way to end the day.

The next morning I was able to use my new JetBoil it's some cool Trader Joe's coffee packs. Super handy. By 9:30 we were packed and headed for Idlewild...and what a beautiful ride that was. We saw lots of snow in the mountains and along the roadside at 5,500'.

After burgers and beers at the Lumber Mill, we made our way to the I-15 and hustled back to beat rush hour traffic. The odometer showed 460 miles, the GPS showed 15 fewer.

The KLR did great and my ankle felt fine the entire way, bundled up in the stiff Sidi Crossfires.

Always nice to get out and ride with my compadre, Danny. Good times...


  1. That sounds like a great trip, well except for the traffic.

    Your temperatures sure sound nice, we are still dealing with a lot of rain but at least we have a dry day every week or two now.

    1. I have a friend not too far from you, in Dallas, and he's soooooo tired of the rain. Said he wants to come down and see me for a long weekend just to dry out.