If you’d read the last post (Thanksgiving Rocks: Pt. 1) you may have been curious as to when Part 2 would arrive. You may have wondered whether it would arrive at all. I wouldn’t blame you for the second wondering, considering I am fully aware I left you hanging on the Halloween wreath tutorial I promised (next year, guys). I am a woman of my word this time around though, and not only am I offering you a part 2, I am offering it in record time.
The second part of my adventure led me to Red Rock Canyon. If you think to yourself, “Hey! I know where that is! It’s in the Santa Monica Mountains / the Mojave Desert / Las Vegas, Nevada / Hinton Oklahoma / Colorado Springs!” or any number of other places, you would be right. It seems that when it comes to places with crimson-tinted stones, humanity is not very good at being original. I even found a Rocas Rojas in the Canary Islands.
The one I went to is Red Rock Canyon state park in the Mojave Desert. It’s a little closer to Orange County than Joshua Tree and makes for a great one night camping trip. Even on the weekend after Thanksgiving it was relatively secluded.
The camp sites butt up against a bizarre rock wall. The formations in the wall almost look like statues from a distance. It’s a great area for staying around the campsite and exploring all the crevices.
The area is a common nesting place for raptors and other birds. In one of the nooks we found feathers and owl pellets. I was hoping to see an owl on the prowl at night, but this was the only sign of him.
When the sun went down, star-watching was quite good. Even though the moon didn’t go down until early in the morning, we still got a great view of Jupiter and four of his moons. as well as some of that iconic striping in the atmosphere.
Red Rock Canyon is a state park, and as such is very underfunded. While the solitude was nice, I know the parks need more visitors and funding to survive. We haven’t talked much about the situation our state parks are in on this blog, but both Robin and I feel strongly about their preservation. As my boyfriend pointed out, how is it that something can look like this and still not have the same protection as a national park?
The state parks have recently faced $22 million dollars in cuts. 70 of them were supposed to close by this July, but a last ditch measure saved 65 of them. Although they’re saved for now, that doesn’t make them safe. In some of the parks there’s only one ranger for huge areas – up to 5,000 acres. You can learn more and support the parks by visiting the California State Parks Foundation.
~ April (in Autumn)