The Skull Rock Trail starts in the Jumbo Rocks campground, crosses the road and then ends up back at the entrance to the campground. At only 1.7 miles, it’s not much of a hike but more of a nature walk, which is how they refer to it in the campground literature. But it sure is pretty no matter what they call it.
We left Jumbo Rocks campground after 2 nights and spent the next night at the Cottonwood Campground. The area around the Cottonwood campground is not nearly as dramatic as Jumbo Rocks so I found myself not taking any photos. We did go on a little cross-country hike but, of course, I left my camera in the camper. The Cottonwood campground is a much more traditional style campground than Jumbo Rocks. They have flush toilets and drinking water is available. The campsites are traditional driveway/picnic table/fire ring arrangements as well. No tent-centric sites like at Jumbo Rocks. There is also a dump station on the way in (or out).
By the way, it costs $15 to enter the park. This is good for 7 days. In addition, the campgrounds with pit toilets cost an additional $10/night and the “improved” ones like Cottonwood, cost $15/night.
After leaving Joshua Tree, we arrived in Parker, Arizona, where we are right now (2/14), in time for my Dad’s 85th birthday on February 12. Also got to see my aunt and uncle, Lea and Gino, who were in the area after visiting their new great-granddaughter in Hemet, CA. Long-time followers might remember Lea and Gino as the ones who loaned us a car while we were berthed at Benicia on our way down the coast back in 2010. We all went out to dinner at a BBQ place in Parker. It was one of those tow-around set-ups that you see in the shows about BBQ competitions and was, weirdly enough, from Winchester, Oregon. Probably a lot more chance of selling open-air BBQ in Parker this time of year than on the windy, rainy, cold Oregon coast. The food was excellent. I had brisket, beans and potato salad and we all shared some bacon-wrapped, cream cheese-stuffed jalapeños.
We’ve gotten a few chores taken care of here (laundry, fill the propane tank, etc.). We’ll be heading out tomorrow (Saturday) and, other than we’re heading towards Quartzite, we have absolutely no idea where we’ll stop next.
BTW, our stay at Joshua Tree left us very confident about our setup’s ability to boondock for at a few days at a time. The solar panels and the new 12V computer charger worked great. The propane lasts a remarkably long time and we already know how to conserve water. We have a few ways of conserving space in the holding tank (like doing the dishes in a dishpan and tossing the dirty water outside) but I think that will always be our Achilles heel. No matter, though, as, after a few days we need to replenish our stores anyway. Not a huge amount of food storage space in Flipper.
Okee-dokee. No telling where our next post will be from. Have a happy Valentine’s Day if you’re sucker enough to fall for that manufactured schmatlz.