Life on the Open Road (April 2006 - May 2008)

The continuing saga of a single fulltime RVer who travels the western US. This is part one of my journey, from April 2006, when the blog started, to May 2008, when the blog continues at

My Photo

I have been a full-time RVer for 18 years, primarily "boondocking," camping free without hookups, in the Western US. I am connected electronically with the world via satellite TV, phone and internet. My batteries are charged solely by solar panels. I welcome your comments and emails.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree National Park is unique and beautiful, both for the vegetation and the rocks that climbers love so well.

Diana went on three short hikes as she toured the park. The first was Hidden Valley, whose rock formations enclose a valley which may have been a hideout for 19th century cattle rustlers.

The second hike was to Barker Dam, built in the early 1900s, but enlarged in the 1950s by William Keys. Needless to say, it was dry at this time of the year.

On the same trail was evidence of the earlier inhabitants of the Joshua Tree area. Unfortunately, these petroglyphs were defaced by a movie crew that painted over them in order to make them more visible to the cameras.

The best hike by far was the one to Wall Street Mill, the remains of a stamp mill operated by William Keys sporatically from 1930 to 1966 to process gold ore from his mines and the mines of others.

On the way to the mill, an old photogenic pink ranch house amused Diana.

There were lots of old rusted vehicles along the trail, and in the wash near the mill.

Also along the trail, which used to be the road, "Here is where Worth Bagly bit the dust at the hand of W.F. Keys, May 11, 1943." It's hard to believe the Wild West lasted so long here. Keys argued self-defense, but was convicted. He was paroled from San Quentin in 1948, and later pardoned, when his friends intervened and provided more information about Bagly's threats and antagonism toward Keys.


Blogger Desert Diva said...

You all find the most amazing places to hike as well as interesting history along the way. I love the photo of the rusted truck!

3:31 AM  
Anonymous roamingbarbara said...

I love Joshua Tree - the rocks, the trees, and even history. You got some great pictures.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Lloyd said...

Joshua Tree has great scenery for great photos. I especially like the rusted remains of the truck.

9:11 PM  

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