I came to the City of Rocks and Castle Rocks for the month of May to volunteer with little understanding about what I would do except give tours of some sort. I had driven through the area about ten years ago and liked it. After a quick phone call and a check of my references, I was hired for the volunteer gig. I was sure all would turn out and it would be a happy month. How could it not be happy? I was going to where rocks are 2.5 billion years old.
Cold, rainy, and snowy; that was yesterday morning. At the top of the City (Emery Pass) I heard there was 4 inches of new snow in the morning. In the afternoon, the dogs and I got itchy feet and headed up into the City. Up I drove and found it snowing. I had a hat and my hood on my head trying to keep out the bitter cold wind. And then… I was rewarded for my effort to see the City; the sun started shining, the air was clear, the wind died, and few people were in the City. I felt like I had the entire City to myself; to slowly explore the nooks and crannies. It was special. Here are some photos from yesterday.
Airway arrows are an obscure part of American aviation history. When I found that I would be joining the team at the City of Rocks I started looking around for interesting things to do in the area. I found that the Strevell Airway Arrow was nearby. For an explanation of airway arrows this web site has a pretty good description.
This arrow is located about 300 feet east of the intersection of old Highway 81 and the Strevell Road.
I choose to come to the City of Rocks as a transition into retirement. After 40 years of working an established job with deadlines, meetings, massive amount of emails, and my life ruled by my Outlook calendar, my friend Jan strongly recommended that I don’t start my retirement at home. Start with some structure she recommended. Leave. So I started looking for a trip to take and opportunities to volunteer. The results of my search; is coming to the City of Rocks. I give geology tours and hang around Register Rock telling stories about the California Trail for those that stop by. Plus I walk trails in uniform answering questions. A perfect transition to retirement.
I use to work in a high rise climate controlled building. My new offices are different.
One of my volunteer tasks is to explain the California Trail and share information. What I explain is that the trip was an arduous undertaking. Many made the trip and encountered death and personal losses. Others were lucky and only encountered an extreme physical adventure.
Daniel Tickner recorded his name on Register Rock in the City of Rocks while making a trip. Research has uncovered his unusual story of crossing the land on the California Trail three times.
I’m here – at the City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park – at the end of the pavement. I arrived here during a snow squall, it seemed perfect to me. I left home to live a different life for a month; snow the last day of April was a welcoming sign that life would be different here. The area is a simple place where most livelihood is ranching. It is a place without distractions. A place where one can make their life what they want it to be.