In Search of the Yucca Brevifolia..... Desert USA


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Published: February 21st 2017
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Preserving majestic locations across our country is something the U.S. has done pretty well. At the end of the day, we can thank a president who was in office some one hundred plus years ago….. and we can concur that Joshua Tree National Park is one of those stunning and serene locations.

Theodore Roosevelt is known as “the conservation president” because during his tenure from 1901 to 1908 he doubled the number of sites within our national parks system. Teddy began this work and other Presidents followed his example. Germaine to our blog is Joshua Tree National Park, which was created by Franklin Delano Roosevelt (yep, he is related to Theodore) in 1936 and frankly……are we glad he did.

With Los Angeles in our rearview mirror we are feeling giddy because we have not had a road trip in a long time. Joshua Tree is only a couple hours down the road but it’s a new location for both of us and we can’t wait to have a weekend of exploring. We’ve been anticipating this weekend for quite some time and now we are winding our way down southern California green rolling hills and wind farms galore. This may
Silhouette in the DesertSilhouette in the DesertSilhouette in the Desert

The end of a wonderful day
be the largest collection of wind power we’ve seen in any one location.

We got up early to get on the road and along the way we stumbled on Patsy’s Country Kitchen and were in heaven. Sadly we had more than our daily intake of food in this one meal. The best Huevos Rancheros we’ve had and the bacon and eggs weren’t bad either. If you find yourself near Banning, California you should stop here and get your daily allotment of calories in one meal.

As we enter the park we pay our $25 fee, which is good for 7 days. An annual pass is only $80 and allows you to go to all the parks across our country. For those who love the great outdoors, this is a bargain.

The park office gave us a basic map, which matched the signage within the park. We felt we had grasp on the key places we wanted to visit during the weekend. The roads are well-paved and in good condition and as we were winding through the park we saw the dirt roads that were recommended for 4 wheel drive vehicles only. Those will have to wait for
Climbing into the cloudsClimbing into the cloudsClimbing into the clouds

Ok, an optical illusion
another day.

Before us stands 800,000 acres of pristine nature. Slowly driving a few miles into the park we watched the topography change. A calm came over the landscape and as we pulled around a corner we stopped at a quaint little car park where only one other car was stopped. We could not see any people on the horizon so assumed they were hiking. As we climbed out of the car we looked in all directions and we began to embrace the shades of tans, brown, green and a variety of reds, rust and orange. The color changes are extremely subtle and as we walked smiles came to our faces. We loved looking at each shrub, cactus and Joshua Tree. The trees come in all sizes and shapes and as you plow through our photos there is a fair chance you may tire of them. But the fact is that each unique shape mesmerized us. The winds in the desert help shape the trees over time and bring serious uniqueness to these trees.

Being back in the desert makes us miss our good friend Brendan because the last time we were in a desert it was in
Each tree is uniqueEach tree is uniqueEach tree is unique

Stark and amazing
the White Desert in Egypt and we were camping out under the stars with him. We miss him and being back in the desert makes us feel closer to him as his love of travel equals our own. We can envision him nodding as he reads this….. bvchef

The peacefulness of the park is just what we needed. We walked, we talked and we enjoyed the silence. We could hear our footfalls as we walked across the gritty sand and dirt. We climbed on rocks, we walked, we sat, and felt the wind blow as a few birds fly. This is supposed to be a good birding area, however we didn’t see as many birds as we thought we might. The sky was filled with clouds this weekend but they were amazing shapes, sizes and colors, so they added to the ambiance at times. Near sunset we had a sunburst and the desert came alive. Sunset was quite exhilarating, what would sunrise hold?

As the day ended we headed into town to have dinner at Crossroads. As you can imagine, the town of Joshua Tree does not have too many dining selections but the Crossroads was recommended to
Desert SerenityDesert SerenityDesert Serenity

Joshua Tree National Park
us by David and Nancy—you can read their blog. We were happy with our repast. Finding Out Where the Pavement Ends

Sunrise came early, as we decided to get up at 430am to dress and drive into the park to seek out the perfect location. We enjoyed watching the awakening of the landscape before us. Near us in the desert was a group of photographers set up with tri-pods to capture the changing light. Shortly after sunrise show among the rocks and Joshua Trees was over, we headed back to Bayview, which is a spectacular view of the Palm Springs valley and so much more. It is an amazing panoramic view. From there we went back to our other favorite location, which was Cholla Cactus Garden. It is spectacular. It is located in the valley with mountain views. The desert spring flowers are a few weeks away, but we got to see a few and this was most pleasing.

Even though we would not want to live in the desert because it is stark and barren, we must admit it is enchanting and we are drawn to it because of its unusual beauty and we will always enjoy visiting.


Additional photos below
Photos: 39, Displayed: 25


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Amazing BloomsAmazing Blooms
Amazing Blooms

Joys of the Desert
Joshua TreesJoshua Trees
Joshua Trees

Stunning and Amazing
Desert tans, brown, greensDesert tans, brown, greens
Desert tans, brown, greens

lots of life out in this wilderness
We love cloudsWe love clouds
We love clouds

We should have been meteorologists
Standing TallStanding Tall
Standing Tall

Rich and vibrant
Wind PowerWind Power
Wind Power

Acres and acres
Dramatic National ParksDramatic National Parks
Dramatic National Parks

And a great cloud
Puffy cloudsPuffy clouds
Puffy clouds

Enjoying the desert


21st February 2017

So many acres so little time
Dave and Merry Jo, you spoke the same mantra that motivates me to travel, "so many roads in the world to travel"...just wrote today to Dancing Dave. Looks like you had a great road trip....short but sweet...beautiful. Reminds me of driving the desert roads of south Arizona so many times. Any rattle snakes? Your photographs are great!
21st February 2017

So many acres so little time
Tab, thanks for following along. We always appreciate your comments. We didn't see any rattle snacks but I'm certain many snakes are out there. It was a peaceful easy feeling. So many roads so little time....
21st February 2017

Photographer paradise
Wow - what a place to dawdle through! Is camping allowed? I hope you go back one day and head off down that dirt road :-)
21st February 2017

Photographer paradise
Yes, all of our national parks are simply amazing and yes camping is allowed. Make your reservations well in advance. It is stunning beauty.
21st February 2017

Deserts are Indeed Beautiful
It sounds like a great place to visit. Great photos. It will be on the list if/when we make it back to the USA.
21st February 2017

Deserts are indeed beautiful
You must come back! You saw so much but you saw so little. Looking forward to seeing you again.
21st February 2017

Very Pretty
Theresa and I both love deserts (and desserts too). They are stunning, we love the subtle details close to the ground, all the flowers after a rain and just the solitude of such a hostile environment. We haven't spent enough time in deserts! California, Arizona and Utah are high on our list of places to visit.
21st February 2017

Very pretty
Joshua Tree is well worth the visit. I hope you will get here sooner than later. You are always busy with those polar regions but don't neglect the desert...or the desserts.
21st February 2017
Vibrant Desert Colors

Sky
Wow - amazing coulours. We love sunsets in the desert, always so special and beautiful.
21st February 2017
Vibrant Desert Colors

Sky
Vibrant, magical colors....sunrise, sunset....both are worth experiencing.
21st February 2017

Desert
Lovely pics! Like you, I prefer to live in forested areas but the unusual trees and gorgeous sunsets and cloud formations are breathtaking. Thanks for sharing!
21st February 2017

Desert
A stark beauty that gives balance. Loved the cloud formations.
21st February 2017

Nat'l Park Pass for seniors
The photos are gorgeous, as always, and the diversity of our landscapes makes me wonder why it's so hard for some to accept and appreciate the diversity of our humanity as gorgeous, as well. Don't know if you're aware or if either of you is old enough, but you can get a lifetime senior pass to all the national parks for $10. It is the bargain of a lifetime. Can't remember if you have to be 60, 62 or 65, but definitely check it out.
21st February 2017

National Parks Pass for seniors
One of the perks of getting old, well older. I agree diversity is what makes it special.
21st February 2017
Desert Serenity

Joshua Tree N.P.
"We could hear our footfalls as we walked across the gritty sand and dirt. We climbed on rocks, we walked, we sat, and felt the wind blow as a few birds fly." And then there was the silence and nuances of light you can only find in deserts. Looking forward to sharing such moments with you somewhere, some exotic place. Great pics by the way.
21st February 2017
Desert Serenity

Joshua Tree N.P.
It was good to be back in the quiet serenity. Yes we must see you along the way at some point.
21st February 2017

In the dessert
Wow what a beautiful blog. I felt like I was in the dessert with you guys. The photos are stunning and I love the sunset
21st February 2017

Desert USA
This country has so much to offer you just need the time to see it. Our parks are fantastic.
21st February 2017

Cue U2
Did you have "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" by U2 from their album "Joshua Tree" running through your head? Now that I've brought it up, do you have it in your head now? BTW, I second the post about the National Park pass for seniors; The price is increasing from $10 to $80 sometime this year. Still a bargain for a lifetime pass, but all the better if you can get it for $10 - $20 if you buy online. https://store.usgs.gov/pass/senior.html
21st February 2017

Cue U2
I can hear the song playing in my head. The lifetime pass is a great deal.
22nd February 2017

Well now your talking my language!
As a child I visited Joshua Tree and it literally sparked such a huge interest in me as far as horticulture goes. Such a pivotal moment. Thanks for sharing, and your pictures are wonderful. A real walk down memory lane!
22nd February 2017

Talking my language
Childhood trips and memories are always good things. Glad the desert was able to spark something inside. Thank you for following along.
22nd February 2017

Joshua Tree
Thank you for reminding us to turn back the clock to 2006, to look yet again at our blog (Motorhome News from North America 5) as we travelled through in our motorhome. We were there around the same time of year and some of the parks eluded us in the snow. No such thing in the desert! Always such a joy to read of your adventures and still hope to meet someday. Saddened to hear the news of Tara Cloud. David
22nd February 2017

Joshua Tree 2006
I will read your N.A. blog. Snow can impact the parks this time of year but it was perfect for Joshua Tree. We do hope to meet up with you at some point. We too are sad about Tara...she would have enjoyed this blog. She was always one of the first to comment. Thank you for following along.
22nd February 2017

Lovely
Great photos. No food pictures though-a usual inclusion. LOL
22nd February 2017

Lovely
The food was good but I included so many photos I was afraid to push it.
23rd February 2017

Desert colours
A beautiful road trip. I love the colours in your photos, there's nothing quite like the stark beauty of that kind of desert... and what's not to love about the 'best Huevos Rancheros'? One of my most favourite breakfast dishes (actually I would gladly have it any time of day!).
23rd February 2017

Desert colors
It was a beautiful road trip. The colors were lively. I feel certain you would have loved these Huevos Rancheros. I agree that I could eat them any time of the day.
23rd February 2017

National Park Passes...
At 62 you are eligible for a Senior Pass...$10 for the rest of your life. Prices are going up to $80 in the next year so get old fast! There are also a free pass for 4th graders...good for Sep 1 to Aug 31 for the 4th grader and three family members...and for Armed Forces members, and disabled. The pass is good for all Federal lands...U.S. Fish and Wildlife Preserves, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, etc. and gives discounts to camping, boat launching, etc. fees. I'm glad you enjoyed Joshua Tree!
24th February 2017

National Park Passes
I will double check the web site but don't think I qualify for the senior pass yet. I will double check it just in case. We really enjoyed Joshua Tree.
25th February 2017

Beautiful
Great road trip. We are in Palm Springs right now and wish we could go there, but we are running out of time. Thanks for posting this.
25th February 2017

Beautiful
Hopefully next time you'll have more time.
28th February 2017
Vibrant Desert Colors

Wow! Just how I remember it. Thanks for sharing these great pictures!
28th February 2017
Vibrant Desert Colors

Jogging your memory
So glad the photos brought back some good memories.
5th March 2017

Beautiful photos
Apologies for just getting to this... beautiful photos and words. It breaks my heart that this might all be gone. There doesn't seem to be much love for our natural environment in this new administration. Keep traveling my friends. Love, Carolyn
5th March 2017

Beautiful photos
We share the same worries about our national parks and amazing countryside. We must keep a positive vibe going. Happy travels.
9th March 2017

Very nice stroy and photographs
Well explained and wonderful photographs to complement your words . Kudos..
9th March 2017

Nice Story
This is a part of the world you would enjoy exploring. Thanks for commenting.
24th March 2017
Dramatic National Parks

Dramatic
Love all these photos ,JOshua Tree NP is another reason for me to do another US road trip.
24th March 2017
Dramatic National Parks

Dramatic
We love road trips and yes you must come back. We have so many amazing National Parks.
24th March 2017
The West Stretches On

Such subtle colours . Love it.
24th March 2017

Catching up
Haven't been following blogs lately but I am back. Want a wonderful peaceful place this must be, I would love to be there , th am Afro the wonderful photos. Lynne
28th March 2017

stunninng
Man, those photos are incredible, I look at them and I can almost smell the desert air. Nothing surpasses afternoon or morning light for great photos. You might be surprised to read that the USA has not been high on our travel list but you are slowly (one blog at a time) changing our mind.
28th March 2017

Stunning
Once we wear you down let us know and we will help with your itinerary
5th May 2017

Beautiful pictures
The colours are just amazing, the pics are wonderful. And I had no idea that Teddy Roosevelt was the "conservation president"!
8th May 2017

Conservation president
If you doing any reading about American presidents he is an interesting one to read. He was a bit off but did some wonderful things. Not sure all of our presidents aren't a bit off. ha ha
31st July 2017

So alien to my eyes and so beautiful
I've not ever really seen much of the desert. Aside from a brief stop off at While Sands National Monument in New Mexico, I've not had the pleasure of seeing this kind of landscape. Stunning photos, and yet another place for our ongoing list of places we want to visit.
31st July 2017

So alien to my eyes and so beautiful
Joshua Tree is a beautiful place and both sunrise and sunset provide an amazing burst of color. You must go.

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