May 14, 2013
Part 1: Mountain Biking & Rock Climbing
This spring, Ira and I took multiple, semi-combined trips. He went mountain biking along the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park with a group of friends.
Meanwhile, I went rock-climbing in Joshua Tree National Park as part of the annual Golden Gathering of “more mature” climbers. For pictures of some of those who attended, click here.
My first day there, I struggled up a “5.8” climb using “French Free” methods, not bad considering it was only my 3rd time climbing in nearly 40 years. That evening I tried to do “The Headstone” near Ryan Campground and gave up due to weak arms and mind!
The yuccas and Joshua Trees were blooming profusely, perhaps due to the second year of drought when the plants bloom a lot, having evolved to “think” this might be their swan song if dry years continue.
Some of the Hedgehog cacti were blooming brightly as well.
On the 2nd day, a group of us went over to a cliff whose climbs included Handholds to Hollywood, which I succeeded on. Here are
Allen Steck and Eric Beck on two nearby climbs.
On the 3rd day, a somewhat different group of us played on another group of routes. Here is Bob Schneider getting it done!
The following day, I took off north and eastward across the desert to meet Ira and friends who were coming to float the Black Canyon section of the Colorado River, below Hoover Dam. Meanwhile, Ira and his band of nomads were hiking in a canyon just south of Flagstaff, AZ.