S/V INTREPID II - Cape Dory Intrepid 40

My photo
Intrepid II is a Cape Dory Intrepid 40 sailboat, hull #2, designed by Chuck Paine and discovered by the Captain in Blue Hill Maine in 2006. The crew are Kelly (Captain) and Carol (Admiral and Blogger). In 2009 INTREPID II embarked on her West Coast journey from Victoria to San Francisco, the Baja Sur Peninsula and into the Sea of Cortez. In 2010/2011, we sailed ifrom Guaymas, south to Bahia Banderas and back. In 2011/2012 she left Guaymas, headed south to La Paz, spent three weeks at anchor on our northward journey and rested on the hard in San Carlos. Her 4th, 5th and 6th seasons were Boat Projects related. Season 7 - we are hoping to cruise again at long last.

March 22, 2015

Homeward once again - March 21

Kelly left San Carlos very early Saturday, March 21st.  He arrived in Santa Ana by 9:30 am for a fuel stop and to call home; leaving about 06:00 am made for a quicker drive through Hermosilla.  At the border crossing in Nogales, it was a 25 minute wait with no problems.  Rojo Grande headed on towards Blythe, just into California across the Arizona border.  The hotel room was waiting and comfortable, dinner was a favorite:  Popeye's Fried Chicken!  Later, another planning session, checking weather and sight-seeing options; Joshua Tree National Park looked interesting. Kelly booked a hotel at the north end of the Park at Twentynine Palms and turned in for some well earned sleep.

This morning (Sunday) after a filling breakfast provided by the hotel, it was a short drive from Blythe westward on I-10 to the south entrance to the Joshua Tree National Park, arriving about 8:30 am.  The National Parks Service site describes the park as encompassing two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mohave and the Colorado and covers 794,000 acres.  There is considerable elevation climb from the highway, through the Cottonwood Spring campground area in the south and along the Park Boulevard which then turns northwest as it gains in altitude.  The pictures shown here are courtesy of the National Park Service Flickr site, primarily taken by NPS staff, and are in the public domain.


Cottonwood Spring (National Parks Service photo)

Joshua Tree and boulders (NPS)

Rock formations near Skull Rock (NPS)

Great Basin Collard Lizard (NPS)

Acton's Brittlebrush (NPS)
The Hi-View nature trail apparently lived up to its name as it rose quite steeply at times before it offered an excellent view of the surrounding area.  Kelly found it to be a windy summit however; hang on to your hats! As with visits to all of these stunning national parks, there is never adequate time when one is travelling home.  It often seems a toss-up between seeing something new and spending more on accommodations,  or just eating up the highway miles.

An add-on to keep the travels in the right order:

Kelly said he was up bright and early for breakfast and left Twenty Nine Palms, California heading west and then northward; the mountain parks are calling.  Passing by Bakersfield and on to Three Rivers by noon, he mad a fuel stop as there is nowhere to top up once you enter Sequoia National Park and adjacent Kings Canyon.   Quoting from the National Parks Service site:

General Sherman Tree, Sequoia National Park.
General Sherman - Sequoia (NPS photo)
 "this landscape testifies to nature's size, beauty and diversity - huge mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, vast caverns and the world's largest trees.....(the parks) lie side by side in the southern Sierra Nevada.....elevation ranges from 1370 to 14494 feet."

The wonders of nature demand alertness on the roads; apparently "the 16 steep, narrow road miles from Ash Mountain (south entrance) to the Giant Forest area include 130 curves and 12 switchbacks...."   One goal of this visit was to stand before General Sherman...by volume, the largest tree in the world!  In 1975 a calculation determined it to be slightly over 52,5000 cubic feet.  And that he did.

Accommodations in the Lodge were cozy and the hikes were at times challenging.  The opportunity to view these ancient 'sentinels' of the forest was not to be missed.  Each National Park has its treasures and there are many more to explore.

Here are a few of Kelly's photos:

No comments: