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Published: February 21st 2017
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 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
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
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
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.
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