The Rock Climbing Gang
Joshua Tree 3/97
One of the more unusual birthday presents I've ever received is a rock climbing tour of Joshua Tree National Park. My daughter, Michelle, conspired to send me and six friends on a catered and professionally guided free-climbing adventure. It was such a success that I commissioned the above pewter casting of 'the gang'. From left to right are Brian (guide), Marshall Stowell, Jeff (chef), Kurt Kremer, Steve Bryant, Greg Knob (lead guide), Jay Gural, John Hart, and your truly, the birthday boy. I'm taking suggestions as to where to mount it. Some have suggested folding it five ways...
We arrived on Friday night 3/14/97 and set up camp at Indian Cove, a camp ground on the north side of Joshua Tree between Joshua Tree (city) and Twenty-nine Palm. What a great spot for staging a climbing trip. There were enough rock formations within walking distance of the camp site to keep climbers busy for weeks! The entire campground contained perhaps 50 camping sites and it seemed that everyone was there for the same purpose. By the time we got up and had breakfast on Saturday morning, numerous ropes already descended most of the 'interesting' rocks with climbers attached. We had to hustle in order to stake out our territory for the day.
All of Saturday was spent within the boundaries of the campground negotiating four different climbing routes. Greg and Brian set up a variety of challenging climbs, each requiring a different skill. Almost everyone completed all four climbing routes. On Sunday, we went into Joshua Tree Park via Twenty-nine Palm and navigated to a spot near Cottonwood campground. The guides set up three more climbs, again each sported unique challenges.
Click on the photo of the casting to see the original picture and a watercolor by the same artist. Return to this page by using the browser's back arrow. Now it's on with the show...
Since Jan '00