Last night was the first night in the Jeep that I slept wonderfully! It could be one of many reasons... a full day, much of which was off road time... staying up late to photograph more stars... the comfortable sleeping temps with windows open all night... or simply because I slept like the dead in Death Valley - haha! I know, lame...
Once I was mobile, I wanted to take about 1/2 the day to continue to explore the park before moving on. The original idea was to stay on the park road and visit the points of interest that could be accessed from there. However, I didn't get too far north of Stovepipe Wells when I came across the trail for Titus Canyon. I drove up the gravel road to investigate further, thinking I would continue on afterwards... only at the end of said gravel road was this narrow canyon... and the sign posted 'do not enter.' And I instantly knew that I MUST drive that path!! So I consulted the map, confirmed the one-way-ness of the trail, and drove ALL the away around to the other side of that range (guessing 30-ish miles) to get on that trail heading in the correct direction. That path did not disappoint! Gorgeous views, lovely temperatures, and that amazing narrow canyon to drive through at the bottom - so good!
But after exiting that route, it was well after noon... and time to move along. I planned to get down towards Joshua Tree NP by this evening, and I had to get rolling. The road headed out of the park was beautiful as well - I'm glad I decided to take a different way out of the park.
The rest of the day was just driving... nothing overly noteworthy. And now I'm just outside Joshua Tree - I plan to hang out for a few hours in the morning, and then head to my final destination for this direction of the trip - Costa Mesa! I need to wash the Jeep tomorrow afternoon (so I don't freak out my Airbnb host), pick up my loaner lens from FedEx, and attend the Sport Shooter Academy pre-workshop meet-n-greet tomorrow evening... once the workshop gets rolling on Wednesday, time will be at a premium. Those will be updates of a whole other kind!
*some of today's phone images*