Thursday, August 12, 2010

And I Didn't Have My Camera

Yesterday, Vol Fan had to make a trip to a small town in the desert to pick up a piece of equipment for the job.  He knows that I love to go anywhere and everywhere so he asked if I wanted to ride along.  And of course, I did.

We left the house at 6:30am.  Since I am not a morning person, a camera was not exactly on my mind.

After winding our way thru LA and out into the desert, we made it to Thermal, CA and had the equipment loaded by lunchtime.  Del Taco made for a quick, cheap lunch.  While eating, Vol Fan suggested that we head to Joshua Tree National Park to get my park stamp since we were so close - just an hour out of the way.  Of course, I jumped at the chance!  He knows me so well:)

Since we were short on time and hauling a trailer loaded with equipment, we would not be able to explore the park.  And since it was midday in August in the middle of the desert, exploring the park didn't really sound like fun!  We made our way to the closest visitor center to get my stamp and a magnet with plans to turn around and head home.

In our trips to national parks, Vol Fan and I like to view wildlife.  Lately we have been trying to see Bighorn Sheep.  We have looked and looked and looked - but kept coming up empty.  Our running joke is that they really don't exist anymore.  The parks just have old pictures on their brochures to keep people interested.  So when I spotted a stuffed bighorn sheep for sale in the gift shop, I pointed it out to Vol Fan and said that now we could say we had seen one.

The ranger at the desk heard our comments and laughed.  Vol Fan turned and asked if anyone had been seeing the Bighorns lately in her park.  Her answer:  "Why yes!  Whole herds!"

What?!?  Herds?!?  At all times of day?!?  At the same spot?!?  And we were hooked.

Drive another hour+ to the trailhead?  Oh yeah.

Hike in the desert?  Oh yeah.

In august at midday?  Oh yeah.

With no water or supplies?  Oh yeah.

In flip flops?  Oh yeah!!

Yes, people, we are that stupid!  As we got deeper into the park, we became enthralled with the landscape.  The Joshua Trees.  The jumble of rocks.  Beautiful!
But we did not see any bighorns.

Once we started hiking I did what my friend, Desert Survivor, has taught me.  I looked for other signs of their presence.  Like scat aka poop.  And there was plenty. - gross as it may sound, it was pretty darn fresh!  So we were excited.  We knew they were around!  So we walked and talked about coming back over the weekend to camp so we could spend more time and very possibly get lucky enough to see one.

And then it happened.  Vol Fan saw this.
And this.
And then he spotted this big guy.  Can't spot him?
How about now?
One of them even posed for us:)  Yes, he is missing a horn.  We were guessing that he had lost it while fighting.
We were absolutely beside ourselves with excitement.  I would have given just about anything to have had my good camera with me.  But even still, it was a great day.


Betsy from Tennessee said...

I seem to do that so much----be somewhere special without my camera... Oh Well--at least you got to see the Bighorns.... I'll bet you two will go back to that park sometime...Love that last picture!!!! Wow!


Snooty Primadona said...

How awesome is that? You two are the most adventurous people I know of. Woody The Explorer!

I loved the last pic. What a cute pose!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I am so happy for you guys!!!
if that was a camera phone, an awesome job it did!!!

Lori said...

I love your guys adventurousness! How fun that you finally got to see them. Sorry you didn't have your good camera but at least you got some pictures to show everyone! How cool!

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Not bad shots at all! Lucky you!

Mental P Mama said...

Wow! Can we go back there when I come? ;)

T said...

for not having the "good camera" you got some great shots!

Desert Survivor said...

Thanks for the shout out!
And you are so lucky to have seen the bighorn and Joshua Tree. That's a park that I still haven't made it to.