For the last year we have been slowly replacing all of the customized Wagon Stations with new “stock” Wagon Stations that are available for people involved in activities at AZ West to stay in. And while expanding the Wagon Station encampment it also became time to address the never ceasing issue with wind. Even though four strong people can barely lift one of these units, our desert windstorms have managed to flip and smash them on an ongoing basis.
About two months ago TK engineered a new footing and a tie down system – along with fasteners on the hatch and back entry door. So far they have weathered at least two fairly fierce windstorms and nothing has flipped yet… fingers crossed!
I got a really nice note from Katherine Ball today – Katherine was last year’s resident on Indy Island, and she came to visit AZ West a few months ago, just in time to help put the finishing touches on the Encampment (more about that soon!) and to help demo Yucca Crater. (A brutal hot sweaty undertaking which she took on cheerfully and uncomplainingly)
Katherine likes to go on epic runs – and while out in the desert pioneered a new route around the rocky mountain next to AZ West. Today she sent a map and detailed description of her journey, which I’m about to try out this evening as I walk the dogs… (my disclaimer is that I’m walking not running, like Katherine was, and one of my dogs is a geriatric 16 year old, so we will see how far we make it on our first pass.)
Katherine’s instructions: HERE IS THE LOOP I RAN:
Go down your driveway like you are heading to the highway, into Joshua Tree.
1. Make a Left on the first dirt road that follows the powerlines and runs parallel to the highway.
2. Travel along it, bearing a slight Left when it forks (don’t go left at the cross).
3. Follow it to a car turnaround and head Left through a canyon (one of the first rocks has a bunch of Playboys behind it).
4. The canyon path will peak by a dirt road/wash by a house.
5. Go Right and snake your way through the rocks (10 – 20 minutes?)
6. There will be an opening with a lot of washes.
7. Go Left around the big rock with the science device/tower, follow the wash.
8. You will come to a dead end (less than 5 mi)
9. Climb up the boulders on the Left side.
10. Walk through wash with the rocks carved by boulders.
11. Go Left at the end/road (?) and cross by abandoned look out.
12. From the lookout, find a trail that is near it (forward) and runs parallel to a road. This trail will intersect the road on your Right and then the trail will branch off to the left and bring you to the backside of the canyon that connects to your wash. You will make a Left into your canyon and follow it to the Wagon Stations.
****It will be challenging to complete the loop on your first go. I suggest trying to make it to the lookout or dead end coming from both counterclockwise and clockwise, then connect them.
1. Head through your canyon.
2. It will veer left as it dissipates.
3. Find the trail that is on your Right and goes perpendicular.
4. The trail will take you to a road (within 1/5 mile).
5. Make a Right on the road and look for the abandoned lookout. There is a trail that goes there, or you can just aim for it.
6. The wash that connects to the dead end is approximately 1/3 mile. You will make a Right into the wash. I think there is a trail or road but I am not sure.
More soon… Promise.