The Waiting and Disappointment

We decided to hike the crater while waiting for the sun to set. Being who we are, we didn’t look for trail markers and went exactly the wrong way. Not a big deal, but it did take us longer to reach the trail that actual led up the slope and into the volcano’s actual crater.

I should mention at this point that James is a very much a city person and all this outdoors stuff was making him nervous. I, however, grew up playing in fallow fields, irrigation ditches and even volcanoes. So we were two or so hours to sunset and I was hellbent on making the short ascent to the crater while James was hellbent on heading back to the relative modernity of the parking lot.

We went our separate ways.

I did ascend to the crater (it was only a 15 minute climb after all) and looked around at the rock art other visitors had assembled. I found the geocache (but didn’t sign it) and popped out my drone for a little flight. Unfortunately, it was too windy for my teeny little drone and I didn’t get any good footage as I was too busy trying not to crash it into the rim of the crater.

Those clouds in the previous pictures and that wind I just mentioned? That’s what I like to call ‘foreshadowing’.

When I returned to the parking lot and found James hanging out drinking a soda, the clouds had taken full ownership of the sky.

There would be no shoot from Amboy Crater that night. (Remember it was February and so cold up in the high desert. Neither of us was willing to wait all night in the near freezing temps for a vanishingly small chance to get a clean photo.)

We headed back to JT for some dinner and relaxation at our rental.

Joshua Tree is also a pretty dark site … Bortle 4 or 5 but there’s plenty of light pollution from the surrounding cities. Regardless James and I made a plan to get up and check the sky every hour until morning.

We did not want to get skunked.