Monday, April 16, 2018

Joshua Trees to Junipers and Pink Cholla to Pines

April 5-8, 2018
Pahrump, Nevada

After the wide open nothingness of Amargosa Valley, the small town of Pahrump, Nevada is mass civilization! 

We arrive at Saddle West Casino and RV Park on Thursday after our short 45 minute drive. Check-in is a challenge as there is zero signage, but we finally get set up in the all asphalt park. It's fine for $25/night and everything works well. In fact, the WiFi is really fast.

After refilling our empty coffers, I spend Saturday binge-watching some favorite TV shows with all the blinds closed and the AC on.

I saw that Hans and Lisa (Metamorphosis Road) found a nice drive up to Wheeler Pass when they were here, so Sunday we head out to see how close we can get to the snow. We find Lisa's pink cholla, but none of the pretty snakes they saw on their visit :-(  

The dirt road takes us through Joshua Trees, into thick pines, and along rock formations. With the clouds moving in and out, the temps drop into the low 60s. But we don't find the snow here.


Healthy Joshua Trees spread out in all directions.

As the road narrows we're surrounded by pinons and junipers.

The pines smell lovely.

Bill finds bat caves in the rock formations - no bats in sight.

On the way back down the hill. Pahrump is much bigger than we thought!
Instead of returning home, Bill finds a road through Wallace Canyon that looks like it might get us up to the snow. Let's go!

We travel through more Joshua Trees and shrubbery before dropping down into the canyon. It's a bumpy trail over lots of rock. In some areas the brush is as tall as the Jeep and tight on both sides. In others we are surrounded by tall rock canyons. Eventually the trail shrinks to a two-track, and I turn around just below the snow. It's a raw and rugged area with nothing but the sound of the wind in the trees.


I've never seen these pink cholla anywhere else. They look so delicate!
We don't see anyone else all day.
It's like being between

walls of brush on both sides.


The pink cholla was expected, but these pink trees are a big surprise!!

Close to the snow.


Layers of blue

We even get a few drops of rain - just these, nothing more.

These creepy moth cocoons are in many of the bushes along the trail. Eweeeeeee
The bottom of the canyon.
Back at home we have dinner and enjoy another beautiful sunset.




Just as we're ready to pull out Sunday morning a white car pulls up beside us and a man comes to our door. It's Rick Watson! He and his wife Carlene graduated from our high school and have lived in Pahrump for over 30 years. Unfortunately we didn't know that before now :-(  He saw my posts on Facebook and thought he'd see if he could find us. Thanks Rick!

It's another short drive back to Las Vegas where we pull in to Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort. A huge park between Highway 160 and Interstate 15, we're here for four days unless we decide to stay longer.

15 comments:

  1. We used to spend time in the Pahrump area when we were Cowboy shooting--not a favorite area of ours. Pink cholla--who knew!

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    1. I've heard of a lot of people stopping in Pahrump, but without the Jeep I'm not sure what the draw is?

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  2. Love those drives where no one is around:) Pink cholla and pink bushes are so very cool! I wonder if they lose their pink glow after spring!? Your one photo looks more like a hiking trail than a road. it sure was narrow. Just another fun day with a Jeep! It's tough but someone has to do it!

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    1. I have to look up more info on those trees - the limbs are pink, like the green of a Palo Verde tree. Definitely stand out in that barren area! I was glad the super narrow section wasn't too long, it was weird :(

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  3. Ahhh...such a peaceful drive. The pink trees you discovered are so pretty. Let us know when you discover what they are. You can't go anywhere without friends tracking you down! :-))

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    1. I haven't been able to find what they are :(

      Good thing we aren't trying to hide!!

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  4. Nice to see healthy Joshua Trees as they seem to be dying in many places. Love your snow searching ride. I've never seen pink cholla. I too was rather surprised how big Pahrump is.

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    1. Maybe they get more water there - but they were some of the healthiest we've seen anywhere. It doesn't feel as big as it looks from up above.

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  5. A day out in the back country with no one else around...perfect!

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    1. Absolutely! Glad I had your info so I could look for the pink cholla :-)

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  6. What a really nice day...peaceful and pink...two of my faves!

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  7. Really love your Joshua Trees opening picture. The pink cholla are outstanding, beautiful green interiors and then the pink cast. If you were in the east I’d think the pink trees might be spring redbuds but out west I haven’t a clue. Pretty sure your creepy cocoons are Tent Caterpillars. They used to work havoc on my fruit trees. Beautiful blue mountains remind me of the Blue Ridge of Virginia. I think my favorite line is “we don’t see anyone all day”.

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    1. Those caterpillars are soooo weird! The layers of blue were magical from above.

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  8. Wow...Pahrump is big! I had never heard of it before Howard and Linda decided to hold a rally there. Love those pink cholla, Jodee. 😊

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