Thursday, November 17, 2022

Pine City Trailhead

 I was looking forward to this hike for a number of reasons. The Pine City trail in Joshua Tree National Park is a trail I had never hiked, and on this day back in September of this year, my trusty weather app was predicting clouds with a slight chance of rain. So new territory to see and likely some pretty skies.
There were five of us on this hike... a large group by my standards! Travis (far left) is a professional guide and really fun to hike with because of his background and experience. Roger (in shorts) and Mitch (second from right) are my usual hiking partners. Mitch's neighbor Larry, who turned out to be a great guy, joined us on this hike.
 
I took this photo at about 12noon before even leaving the house. Look at that sky!!
 
As I recall, we didn't stick to the trail for very long. We kind of wandered toward anything that caught our eye. Here, Roger and I are checking out some red barrel cactus that seem to be growing out of solid rock. Photo credit: Mitch.
 
 
The sun was going in and out for most of the hike. In one direction, dark cloudy skies, and in the other, mostly blue skies. 
 
See that balancing rock in the center of the photo? Let's take a closer look...
 
Looks like you could push it over (we didn't try).
 
Amazing how the various rocks erode in JTNP. This looks like a well-built block wall!
 
Evidence of recent rain.
 
A narrow arch
 
Shark rocks!
 
Chuckwalla lizard skeleton.

Mitch forgot his hat, so he was alternating between umbrella for shade and umbrella for rain. Made for a good photo!
 
Umbrella for rain.
 
Here Mitch demonstrates proper technique to keep a camera (or phone) dry while taking a photo in the rain,
 
Roger models the latest fashion in hiking rainwear.
 
By late afternoon, the threat of rain seemed to be over.
 
Boo!!
 
 
Small, medium and large.
 
A prickly situation!
 
A rolling stone, come to rest here.

Travis has the ability to climb anywhere!

A portal between two rocky ledges.
 


Boo (again)!!
 
Hey, Travis!
 

Late afternoon golden light. Thinking of those people living in colder climes that don't get to enjoy the sun as much this time of year... this one's for you!
 
I thought I was done taking photos for this hike, but as the sun set behind the hills, I could see a rain cell off in the distance with a nicely balanced rock in the foreground... So back out with the camera and hustle to a vantage point to get a couple shots!

Thanks for dropping by and joining me on this hiking adventure!!

Linking with Skywatch Friday.

35 comments:

  1. Those red cacti are amazing - and the last two shots are spectacular!! #Skywatch

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  2. ...you capture fabulous images of this surreal landscape. It's good to know rain occasionally arrives. Thanks for sharing this adventure.

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  3. I'm glad the rain didn't take away from the hike - those dark clouds look ominous. Love the blue skies!

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  4. Your posts just keep getting better and better. I've been so inspired by them that I've started to map out a route to the Owens Valley that allows for a multi-day stay near JTNP next spring. We're not going to miss it the next time we go west!

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  5. Another wonderful hiking journey with outstanding photographs! The cactus really adds colour to the scenes too

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  6. ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™Love the Pictures๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™

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  7. What an enjoyable post and commentary. The rock formations as usual are fantastical and inspire the imagination. I could relate to holding an umbrella in the rain and working the camera at the same time. Haha … it's a balancing act I see your friend has mastered. :)

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  8. Great shots of all the various rocks. What a great hike.

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  9. Dearest Peter,
    You all five had no doubt a lot of fun with laughter in–between rain.
    Those photos are spectacular and indeed the cactus seem to grow on rocks!
    Thanks for sharing all this with your readers—quite a joy to read and see.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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  10. Amazing skies and beautiful landscapes.

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  11. You guys had too much fun on your journey and some great shots.

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  12. Wow! Stunning rocks and great skies!

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  13. So many interesting motifs: the lizard skeleton, the BOO rock, the dramatic clouds, the shark rocks and the red cactus flowers. Very nice!

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  14. Superb pictures! The second "boo" has a delicate, feminine look I think...

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  15. Beautiful pictures as always sir. The rainshaft is amazing

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  16. Hello Again :=)

    I am fascinated by the terrain you explore. The rock formations are unlike any I have seen before. The sharks, and both boo's made me smile. You must have had a great day, with your friends photographing whatever caught your attention. Those red cacti are amazing finds, and all your sky captures with wonderful cloud formations are beautiful. I didn't see one photo I disliked. Wonderful post! :=)

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  17. What a great hike. I think I've said before that I love the smell of the desert after a rain. I very much enjoy seeing all the rocks in such a variety of shapes and sizes. The ones that look like a block wall are fascinating.

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  18. Another wonderful hike with lots of fabulous shots.

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  19. Pretty sweet hike that, the photos are just superb. I like how it was predicted slight chance of rain, the clouds said to me rain. The second to last photo was the one for me with the rain shower in the distance

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  20. There is no end to great views and interesting things in the desert. Lovely photos.

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  21. Your photos are beautiful and never cease to amaze me!

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  22. What a beautiful rock formations again and the rain is also good for some spectacular shots.

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  23. Loved it all - and you had plenty of company this time. Rain, dramatic clouds, the haunted rock, the barrel cactus - one day I am going to travel out there and see it (the easy to get to places, that is) for myself.

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  24. Thank you for taking us on these wondrous virtual hikes!

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  25. Great post, Amazing skies, Loved all pics

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  26. Wow! I remember seeing a balanced rock in the Sandia Mountains when I was a kid. It eventually fell off. I noticed a balanced rock in your images toward the end of the adventure. It tickled me to see how to photograph under an umbrella to keep the camera dry. Travis sure is a climber. He is definitely not afraid of heights. Boo back. and so long for now.

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  27. Amazing pictures. Love the rock formations.

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  28. Wow, these skys and: the aesthetic of stones....
    Greetings from Germany

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  29. Yo Brother Parts,

    Incredible Shots There - Such Gorgeous Skies As Well - Thankful For The Rain, For The Brilliant Cloud Formations, And For Friends To Muck Around With - Way Cool - Have A Fabulous Turkey Day With The Family

    Stay Rowdy,
    Cheers

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  30. I love the lizard skeleton. What a myriad variety of rock shapes. The barrel cactus adds a touch of spiky color. Great hike.

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  31. That weather certainly made for some great atmospheric photos, and several of your comments had me grinning as well :)

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  32. Congratulations for these great pictures.

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