Ramblings of a Techno-Viking

Jumbo Rocks and Joshua Tree National Park

Jumbo Rocks is the name of a campground in Joshua Tree National Park. It has 125 sites in several loops spread among the natural stacks of boulders. Parking for RVs is mostly parallel to the road, many of the sites could not take anything larger than a car. Many of the sites are in clumps with no privacy from the neighboring sites. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring, and space for a tent. $10/night, 14 night limit. Neither Verizon or T-Mobile signals were available.

Skull Rock nature trail is a loop that goes through part of the campground. The section on the south side of the road has many plants labeled, but I liked the north side that had more interesting collections of plants and rock formations. The loop is 1.7 miles.

Wall Street Stamp Mill is an example of equipment used to process gold ore. The vehicles parked nearby did not look like they had been moved recently. There is a wind-powered well that looks in need of repair on the trail to the mill. Easy 1.1 mile (each way) walk from the paved parking lot, there is a closer parking lot on a dirt road.

Cholla Cactus Garden is a nature trail through a large group of Cholla. After the large variety of plants seen on the Skull Rock trail I found it a disappointment, but maybe I was just tired.

Joshua Tree National Park spans parts of two deserts and the hills between them, with a wide variety of plants and animals. Much of the park does not have Joshua trees. My entry fee was covered by my America the Beautiful pass.

Posted Saturday 07 January 2012 04:21 UTC
Last edited Monday 10 December 2012 04:16 UTC

Metropolitan Water District access road

Joshua Tree National Park has information on "overflow" camping on BLM land outside their borders. After leaving the park from the south end, I turned east on a well-maintained dirt road where several RVs where camped. The road is marked "proceed at your own risk". I traveled far enough that the closest RV was barely in sight, and pulled into a convenient graded pull-through site. There is some kind of locked hatch that the pull-through is designed to access, labeled by the Southern California Metropolitan Water District. (MWD) Wandering around, I found a poorer maintained road near the humming high-voltage power lines that is what the park's map recommended. There are scattered trees, bushes, and flowering plants. I saw a couple of rabbits during my walk. This afternoon got rather windy and my motorhome is rocking. Verizon signal is good, but not T-Mobile.
Posted Sunday 08 January 2012 03:45 UTC
Last edited Monday 10 December 2012 04:16 UTC

Makers by Cory Doctorow (and Chiriaco Summit again)

Tonight I'm staying at the free camping area behind the General Patton Museum at Chiriaco Summit. Not a lot has changed since the last time I stayed here. There is one other RV here as well. The picture is taken from the tank garden, with my RV in the free camping area behind.

Makers is a SF novel set in the fairly near future. It is available in ebook form free from the author's web site or if you prefer you can buy the paper edition from a bookstore. I found the first portion one of the most believable near-future with a significant change I have read. (The boogie-woogie Elmo dolls that run Linux and didn't sell were a cute touch.) While the technology involved might seem the same as the typical techno-babble seen in mass-market SF to someone not in the computer industry, it is actually plausible and the details are correct. The later parts of the novel are less believable, but still internally consistent. Overall, I found this a good but not great read.

Posted Monday 09 January 2012 04:21 UTC
Last edited Monday 09 January 2012 04:21 UTC