We are on a journey, sojourners on this earth. Let us share with you the highs and lows of our lives. Heaven is a sweeter place now that we have two beautiful granddaughters waiting there for us.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Joshua Tree National Park

We had been told that one of the places to see while we were in Palm Springs was the Joshua Tree National Park so one morning we headed north on the Interstate 10 and up into the mountains to the high desert.
The park is huge and covers 790,636 acres. It is named for the Joshua Trees which are native to the park and found in the high altitudes of the Mojave Desert.
We couldn't drive too far into the park without pulling over and capturing some pictures of these strange looking trees.
 As we drove into the park from the west, we saw huge hills of bare rocks and had to wonder how they got there?
 We were excited to be there during the time that the Joshua trees were in bloom, big clusters of white-green flowers on long stalks that result in branching of the tree.
Like all desert blooms, Joshua trees depend on just the perfect conditions: well-timed rains, and a crisp winter freeze.
The trees don't necessarily bloom every year so we considered ourselves very blessed to be able to see so many of these blooms.
 As we hiked through Hidden Valley, some other tourists offered to take a picture of the two of us together, always a treat.
 The huge boulders that could be seen everywhere were popular among rock climbing enthusiasts... this man that we watched scaling up this one.
 We could have spent the entire day in this one valley...
 ....but there was still so much park to explore.
 We saw lots of birds along with this lizard...
 ...and this ground squirrel.
 The best view in the park was from Keys View(and boy was it cold up there....only 50 degrees!!)
We could see the Salton Sea to the south, and all the way to Mexico. Across the valley we saw the Santa Rosa Mountains and in the valley floor, the San Andreas Fault was clearly visible. (the dark line in the middle).
 From here on it was 'all down hill'.
 Cap Rock...can you tell why?
 This is the tallest Joshua Tree in the Park with a trunk of over 40 feet high and is estimated to be over 100 years old.  This tree and others like it without any branches, have never bloomed.
The appropriately called Skull Rock!
Below 3,000 feet , the Colorado Desert encompasses the eastern part of the park. It was amazing to see the change  as we drove down back down to the valley and saw huge groves of the teddy-bear cholla that made them look like actual gardens.

And the temperature just kept going up, all the way to 77 degrees.

What a day to remember! Definitely worth the time and drive.


Miss Debbie said...

Looks like an interesting place to visit. The trees are neat and the little squirrel was cute. Glad you enjoyed your day. Thanks for the tour!!

Miss Debbie said...

Hey Again! Joyce at From This Side of the Pond hosts the Hodgepodge. If you click on the Hodgepodge button at the top of my post, it will take you to her blog. She posts the questions on Tues. You copy and paste the questions and publish your answers on Wed. Then go back to her blog to "link up" is at bottom of her post. It is a great way to meet new people!

Steve said...

We will be there Friday or Saterday.


Anneliese said...

So neat to see your beautiful photos of Joshua Tree Park. Nest time we will have to do the Hidden Valley.