The weekend of 19 Oct 07, Tracy and I decided to head down to the warmth of south-western Utah. I saw a Joshua Tree National Landmark area outside of St. George, and I figured that would be a pretty good place to go. Well, it was cool, but apparently the desert forest had caught fire this past summer, and I couldn’t believe how much of the area had been burned. I mean there were burned stands of Joshua Trees separated by miles of empty desert. I just couldn’t figure out how the fire went over ridges and crossed empty desert. Oh well. Anyway, that area was nice. It’s just nice sometimes to get out into the middle of nowhere in the desert…it’s quiet and relaxing. We mostly just drove around and sat in the desert and read. We hiked a little around the closed Pine Valley National Recreation Area…it’s really nice back in there, with a lot of good deciduous trees that you don’t often see in Utah. Then we car camped near the Pine Valley Wilderness just north-west of St. George. The next day we hiked the Mill Creek Canyon Trail in the Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness. That was a really nice hike. Just like the other part of the wilderness there were a lot of great deciduous trees, and we didn’t see another soul. It was a very relaxing place. As you can see, I took a lot of pictures of a ranch at the trail head…I’m ready to move out of the city… And then we headed home. All told, though, the Pine Valley area is definitely worth frequenting.