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Borrego Springs, CA

Friday, April 17, 2015

Joshua Tree National Park

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With no one coming to work on the rig yesterday, I left early for the almost 100 mile drive to Joshua Tree National Park.  (Actually had to get this pic on the way out)  Decided to leave Emma at home since dogs can’t be on any of the trails, and you can’t even leave them in your car unattended to dash into the visitors center.

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First stop was at the VC in the town of Joshua Tree.  This VC is five miles from the entrance to the park.  For a National Park, I was not impressed by this VC.  It’s very small, and very few exhibits.  I sat down on a bench to listen to the park movie, and had a hard time of it.  It’s not in a separate room, and is on a small TV screen.  I was sure glad there were subtitles because the noise from the little nature store and desk was loud!  I was out of there in 15 minutes. 

As I entered the park, this was my first view of the rocks and Joshua trees.  Thankfully there are a lot of pullout spots along the road.  I was tailgated like crazy for most of my drive in the park.  If you’re visiting a national park, what’s the rush for Pete’s sake?

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I was hoping to see the trees in bloom while here.  In most cases, I was a bit too late.  Two weeks earlier probably would have been better, but I did find a few still blooming. 

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Those flowers at the end of the arms can only be pollinated by one kind of moth that gets inside and lays its eggs in the flower.  As the eggs hatch and leave, they disperse the seeds somehow.  I found that most interesting.

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I’ve seen a lot of pictures of Joshua Trees, but for some reason I thought they would be like a cactus.  Kind of like saguaros with yuccas on the end of their arms.  I was sure wrong about that.  As you can see from this dead Joshua tree, they are solid wood inside just like an oak or maple.

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I wasn’t in the park too long before it was time for my lunch.  The VC might not be much, but there are quite a few beautiful picnic areas.  Do you see that black dot a bit above the lower left hand corner of the photo?  It’s a raven.  It stalked the area the whole time I was eating.  I’m afraid it was out of luck, as I left no crumbs behind.  Winking smile

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Next stop was Keys View Overlook.  It’s at an elevation of 5,185’ and has a wonderful view of the valley with mountains on the other side.  Due to the haze from air pollution, I couldn’t find the San Andrea fault.  Of course, I didn’t exactly know what I was looking for.

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Looking the other direction, it was possible to just see the Salton Sea in the distance.  I think the sign said it was 35 miles away, as the crow flies.

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As I meandered along, I came to the Jumbo Rocks area.  They certainly are jumbo sized.  If you squint your eyes, you may be able to find three guys getting ready to climb these rocks.  They’re at the bottom just about dead center.  One has on a red shirt.  That’s sure not anything I’m going to try to do.

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As I made my way south to the Cottonwood entrance, I stopped to take a short hike on the Cholla Cactus Garden trail. The park is at the confluence of two deserts… the Mohave desert has the Joshua trees, and the Colorado desert has the chollas.  

It was a long day of driving, and I didn’t get back to the rig until 5:30.  I just barely scratched the surface of everything to see and do in this national park.  I can just imagine Sherry and David spending at least two weeks here.  However, if I get a site at Jojoba, I’ll be sure to return.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

18 comments:

  1. Not very dog friendly are they? If they are so persnickity I wouldn't stop there. The trees are very interesting:)

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  2. We love that park. The North side of the park is totally different from the South side. We did several hikes on both ends. What a beautiful country God has given us!

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  3. We enjoyed our visit there...love the trees and the big boulder mountains!!!

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  4. Last weekend and this weekend there is a huge music festival in Indio called Coachella. The park was probably overflowing with campers for the festival. I know the crazy driver that passed me on the right last weekend was one of those IDIOTS. We can't wait until they all LEAVE.

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  5. Did you tell that raven after you finished your lunch "Never More"? :c)

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  6. LOL at Paul's comment. I am sorry to hear about the poor excuse for a VC at this national park. But I'm betting you are right that we could spend 2 weeks there. Love your photographs. The views are wonderful and so are the trees. A very interesting area I know nothing about. Hope you get to return.

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  7. I was very surprised about the dead tree trunk making it clear that they are trees, not cacti! I am always amazed at how restricted pets are in the national parks!

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  8. Joshua Tree is amazing ... and BIG. So much to see and do. It would be easy to spend a couple of weeks here ... just not in summer! :- )

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  9. I always wanted to see this park, thanks for taking me along, and tantalizing me with what you saw. Someday I'll get there.

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  10. Been a few years since we've been there... of course it's still just the same. Love that rock formation!

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  11. Their VC leaves sooo much to be desired! The only place to camp there is in the Cottonwood campground. I barely handles big coaches. We were able to see the Joshua Trees in bloom. They had a slight sweet scent. I hope you can return. At least it is at a higher altitude and is not as hot as the desert floor.

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  12. Very interesting about how the pollination happens.

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  13. Thinking folks planning a V C need to hire a pro_advisor. Are you available?

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  14. You mentioned Blue Bell ice cream in one of your posts recently. Don't know if you've heard or not but I wanted to be sure you know that you should either throw it away or return it to the store where you got it. They've recalled it due to a listeria outbreak. It started in Wichita with three deaths in one of the hospitals. They traced it to the little cups of ice cream that patients get. At first the recall was limited to small treats like that, but last night went to all products nation wide.

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  15. ah yess...just one day at Joshua Tree in a car isn't nearly enough. At least you got a tiny taste. I have never spent any time at all in that visitor center, as you said, it isn't that great considering it is a national park. However I do collect those national park books, and had to buy one of course. Also have a Joshua Tree tee shirt from years ago, so no real reason to go to the visitor center again. And yes, Joshua Tree is big...takes getting off the main roads to get away from those fast NP drivers. I hate that. We really enjoyed our stay at Jumbo Rocks campground a lot. But of course, this time we didn't have Abby, so did not have to deal with the dog thing. That is the main reason we haven't been able to enjoy JT as much in the past. Such a pain in the patootie with the dog restrictions there. So much beautiful hiking. And I do love Joshua Tree in late winter, not so much in the early summer. Still glad you got to see it. See you at Harris Beach soon!

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  16. I’ve always loved parks, they’re very calming and the perfect break you need from a hectic job. I’ve never been to the Joshua Tree Park but am definitely going to give it a try. It looks supremely interesting! Thanks for sharing!

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  17. Nice Post. Thanks for sharing this in Your blog

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