Ted & I get up early, ready to get on some rock at Joshua Tree. I chew a piece of bread, pack up, and we head out. The main road is under construction, and we stop following the “follow me” truck, duck into a dirt pullout, and tromp off to get onto a popular route, Walk on the Wild Side (5.7+). I pick out the spot where I think it starts, and Ted heads up. He looks a little haired out in spots, saying things like “it’s kinda chossy up here,” and “if this is 5.7+ I’d hate to see 5.8.” Nonetheless, he makes it to the anchor and I follow. The moves are scary and loose. I don’t feel like I’d be excited to lead it. We look at each other at the anchor, “this is a four-star route?” The next two pitches are better, but the rock quality doesn’t improve much. We make a lot of jokes at the expense of the route’s name. But we’re having fun, and we’re smiling when we rap down. On the last rap we set up a top rope and play on some nearby climbs until the sun hits us. Later we’ll learn that Walk on the Wild Side goes right after the first bolt, where we went left. Oops.
Back at the truck, in the middle of the construction, we contemplated whether to venture out into the construction. Just then came “follow me”, and we took off after him, but he turned to go to Key’s view and we zipped out the other way, waving at the girl flagging traffic.