Joshua Tree and Richard
26 Nov 2006
|After packing up our campsite, we headed off towards Joshua Tree. Now being the end of a long weekend, there was quite a lot of traffic on the roads. Like always, they don't drive very well. One idiot even overtook two cars and a semi across a double line up a hill he couldn't see over. One guy after his failed and almost accident worthy attempt to pass, got such a fright from his attempt that he stayed behind the semi for many more miles. He eventually passed but only when all other traffic had passed him and there was no one coming down the other side of a very long stretch of flat road.
The road however was quite fun. By that I mean that they had not flattened it out to build the road on it. It consisted of many dips and at several stages we, meaning all the cars and ourselves, appeared to be on some kind of vehicle rollercoaster. You can tell that going a bit faster on this road would be fun as it was the kinds of dips that give you that fun 'whoa' feeling in your stomach.
Another almost over took but didn't judge it well either and ended up in the soft verge on the other side of the road. He recovered it but what a fool. Others in their overtaking attempts had the people coming the other direction, who had right of way mind you, having to almost pull of the road because the lunatics thought they could pass without care for themselves or the oncoming traffic. They really don't seem to understand any road rules such as double lines or the line broken on the other side but their's being solid. It means don't overtake idiots!!!!
We had intended on making it to Rich's at about 2.30pm but were making good time. We pulled over on a side of the road that we saw many others do and once again reattached the sewerage cap. The damn thing keeps coming off. Just another problem with this camper. We had lunch there of left over home made bbq cooked pizza that Mum had made. It was pretty good to considering it was cold.
After we started off again but found that the traffic had become much more sane and less of it. The roads where once again not in good condition and just when you thought you were about to get on some good stuff, you know where the bitumen is black because it is so new, you learned that it's just not like home. Hell we love that stuff at home because it's so smooth but here it's worse than the regular road. It was good to get off of it and back on the clapped out road.
Coming into the area just before 29 Palms we saw many old worn down house without doors or windows. Richard later explained that they have been plots of 5 acres that had been 'given away' to people back in the 60's on the proviso that they build a home on them. Well they had built shacks on them and many had not even lived in them. The property's are now worth about $50, 000 US each. Not a pretty site to look at and some have severe fire damage.
29 Palms is the township you go through just before Joshua Tree. It's a pretty big town for out here and has the obligatory Bail Bonds like all towns we have gone through. Of course it had lots of other things but that bail bonds thing really gets me. I mean, just how much of America's population are criminals! With all these bail bonds places around it would seem a lot.
Joshua Tree doesn't have much just as Rich had promised. No Starbucks...YIPPEE. Man that place is over done. It's as annoying as McDonalds. We found Rich's up a slight dirt road for the first 50 meters and realised that we had arrived too early as the gate wasn't open as he said it would be. He was home thankfully and helped direct me to park the camper. It was a tight fit but I got her in.
He was very happy to see us and we each got a hug and even a group hug. He showed us around his property and it was good to see a Gum tree. Oh home sweet home. He has mostly natives and is going to plant more. Across the road from him is just desert. There are some who ride their dirt bikes around that area but an organisation has been started here to try to prevent it. The jerks that ride their bikes around have no conscience for the environment that they are ripping up as we have also seen in many other places on the way here. So COVW Community Off Road Vehicle Watch are trying to get them banned. One individual had to spend around $30,000 US to fence off his large 'private' property to stop them from doing it. No respect at all from them.
He made us a fabulous chicken and vegetable soup for dinner with the help from Mum and even played us some Mozart of his piano. He also gave us a slide show of his trips back in 2004 into 2005. He is a fantastic photographer and had framed many of his pictures which now hang proudly on his walls. They also have the surrounds in colour which help to show of the colour in the picture's. His favourite photo's are in a small album by the chair which is an idea that Mum will borrow when she gets home.
We have not been able to get hold of Nanna for a couple of days but managed to get in touch with Ann last night and although Pop is doing better, Nanna is becoming very run down. I can not contemplate her situation and don't envy her at all. I just hope that family is pushing her to take better care of herself and are doing all they can to help her. I miss them a lot and Mum still worries of course but I just hope that all will be well and we can get to see them both at home and well when we return. We have so much to share with them that the only way they could keep up with it, is if they are healthy.