Joshua Tree National Park

January 31st 2020

Well it is a crisp Friday morning here in Quartzsite, 41 or 5 degrees at 7 o’clock, I just turned the boiler on to warm the coach. We are excited because we are heading to Joshua Tree today, we are picking up the Bob and Shari in Ehrenberg at 9:00 on our way by, Joshua Tree is a hour and a half west on I-10 over the state line in California. We are expecting the temperature to be 67 or 20 degrees by this afternoon, but could be in the fifties when we arrive, once we cross the state line there is an hour time difference, the gate we are entering opens at 8:30 so well before our arrival. Miss Laurie has her camera ready, I will try to get a shot or two with my phone. We are looking forward to the park and also a visit with Shari and Bob, we last seen them in late November in Phoenix.

Wow is about the best way to describe what we explored today, there where many different things to keep us interested, this is an area in California where two deserts meet so there are many areas very unique and different as we drove through the park we moved through multiple different sections of plant life, rock formations, elevations, and topography. We seen so much more than we expected! We had seen videos of the area done by Less Junk More Journey but it is kind of like the Grand Canyon, photos and videos just can’t capture the beauty of the area and just can’t do it justice. Standing at Keys lookout, seeing the Sultan Sea, overlooking Palm Springs, Indigo, and San Bernardino, in fact on a day when the California smog is less you can see the Mexican border some ninety plus miles away, beyond the Sultan sea. The cactus garden, the Joshua trees, the rock formations, all in different areas, almost as if planted by man.

We stopped for lunch at one of the many picnic spots throughout the park, we got up close to some of the rock formations, this area seemed alive with wild life, there were lots of acorns from some oak trees, which attracted squirrels and birds, the rock formations while looking smooth are very rough to the touch, and the signs of erosion are obvious, there were a variety of cactus as well as a few Joshua trees, it was a welcome stop, and a great lunch provided by the Bannon’s. There are a number of ridges through the park with Keys outlook being 5190 feet close to a mile high, there we snow covered peaks in the distance a few ridges over and there are areas of the park that do get the occasional snow fall, in fact the Joshua Tree like the cooler temperatures that are gained by the altitude. But apparently snow is one of the contributing factors of the trees being knocked over by the weight. The Joshua Tree life can be on the two hundred year range, and depends on a moth for pollution, Miss Laurie is quite concerned because the Ranger told us that the trees are not being regenerated as fast as they are falling from natural causes.

We basically just drove through the park, with a few stops for photos, it is a large park with multiple hiking trails, we just touched on a few of the spots, there are three entrances and we travelled from the South Gate to the North, approximately eighty miles, I can see revisiting Joshua Tree again, and I can see it being the source of a number of adventures.

We finish our road trip by driving through parts of Palm Springs, just to see how the other half of the world live, with beautiful palm lined roads, lots of shopping and restaurants, but what was most amazing was the change in temperature with 27 or 86 degrees in Palm Springs as compared to 18 or 68 at Joshua Tree.

A quick stop at Costco for some more Baileys, for our coffee and we are headed home, we stopped in Ehrenberg for a fish and chip dinner at the River Run bar before saying good night to the Bannon’s and heading off to the desert and Mr. Sam.