2 On The Road Blog

After 12 years of full-time rving, we've sold our truck and trailer but we're still traveling. Email us at wowpegasus@hotmail.com if you would like to contact us.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Joshua Tree National Park

The Joshua Tree is a member of the lily family.
Neither tree nor cactus, the Joshua Tree was named by Mormon pioneers who thought its arms resembled Joshua beckoning them to the promised land.

Some of the hills and small mountains in the park look like piles of loose rocks.

Nolan loved this overhanging boulder at one of the rest stops. People were climbing the opposite face of the rock.
These gigantic rocks are the result of molten lava that oozed up toward the surface and then cooled. Over time this monzogranite developed a system of rectangular joints then they were exposed when flash floods washed away the ground surface that covered them.

I just loved all the interesting shapes.
This is Saddle Rock and it is much larger than it looks in this photo. Read all about it in the following photo.

Double click to enlarge. I learned some interesting facts about climbing at Joshua Tree National Park. It is one of the most popular rock climbing areas in the world and there are 4,500 recognized climbing routes throughout the park!
We decided to got for a short hike and this is the trail we took.

We saw these flowers all along the part of the trail that followed a wash. See how tiny they are? I think they are Desert Sunflowers.
We also saw these flowers in the wash. They aren't much larger than the yellow ones. They are called Chia.
Just one of the interesting rock formations on the route.

We saw this formation and Nolan called it the Dog House so I sent him off to test it out. Yep, stuck in the dog house again. He was bummed because we were unable to get the internet working the afternoon before.

I told him the niche looked more like a religious place so he began to pray for the Internet to start working.

A view of skull Rock from across the road. Lots of people around it.

More interesting flowers but the photo is extremely blurred. I was trying to show that a yellow and a red flower came off of each stem. Very different. They are called Desert Rock Pea. Next is a better picture.

Well I didn't see it at first but Nolan was dead on when he said this formation in Jumbo Rocks Campground looked like an elephant. Can you see it? It even has the tip of the trunk sticking up in front if it. The eyes are bushes.
I believe I read at the Oasis Visitor Center that of the 158 fan palm oasises in North America, five are in Joshua Tree National Park. Probably the most accessible is the Oasis of Mara at the Oasis Visitor Center. Double click to enlarge.
Here's a photo of the oasis from behind the visitor center. The oasis has quite the history of being the stopping place for water because it used to come to the surface here.
Hey, Beaver tail prickly pear starting to bloom. I bet they are really pretty when the flowers are fully open.
Just a lonely fan palm off by itself.
See following photo for a view of Maria Whalton grave.

Maria Whalton's grave is being overtaken by this tree.
This beautiful flower is a California Buckwheat that I saw along the Skull Rock trail but we didn't know it's name until we saw a huge bush of it at the visitor center.
Nolan saw some Gamble's Quail run across the sidewalk at the oasis but he wasn't fast enough to get a good photo. This is a photo I took by Casa Grande.
As we headed south through the park we passed through an area where lots of chola cactus grew. It was called the Cholla Cactus Garden. Then we saw an area where lots of ocotillo grew. We've see them dry and brown all winter but these are green and starting to bloom.
In the sandy ditches along the road, we would occasionally see these plants with their big white flowers. I don't know what they are called.

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