Company

We travel all the time; just the two of us. We welcomed the rare occasions when friends flew out to join us in far-flung places: Thailand, New Zealand, Tanzania, Canada, Washington State, and now California.

January in Palm Springs, California is generally sunny and very pleasant. Our friend, Dale, came first to visit, and he and Joe spent days bicycling the back roads of Palm Springs. Jeannie came later, and that’s when we all headed out to see boulders and Joshua trees in the desert.

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Joshua Tree National Park is famous for its fantastic rock formations. The rocks are monzogranite and the formations are called inselbergs. No kidding!

On the drive in to the Park, we did some quick reading to orient ourselves. Turns out that Joshua Tree National Park is a “connecting” park between the Mojave Desert (higher elevation and wetter) and the Colorado Desert (lower elevation and drier). The northwest side of the park is in the Mojave Desert and the southeast section is in the Colorado Desert.   We weren’t really sure what desert we were in as we headed off to hike the Barker Dam nature trail, which is near the middle of the park.

The greater area received quite a bit of rain in the past few weeks, and this is what we found as we approached the dam. We had expected a bit more water, but then realized, this IS California and a desert.

The greater area received quite a bit of rain in the past few weeks, and this is what we found as we approached the dam. We had expected a bit more water, but then realized, this IS California and a desert.

The simple loop trail threw us off. We couldn’t find our path through the rocks. It took a minute but then Dale found it. We scrambled on.

An unexpected highlight on the trail was viewing pictographs on a protected rock wall. The little interpretive sign indicated Native People had created them, but didn’t say when. It did indicate that “Disney” had added brighter paint colors to some before filming a movie.

An unexpected highlight on the trail was viewing pictographs on a protected rock wall. The little interpretive sign indicated Native People had created them, but didn’t say when. It did indicate that “Disney” had added brighter paint colors to some before filming a movie.

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The path left the huge boulder fields and continued through the flat, never-ending desert. Here we could really appreciate the many Joshua Trees.

Most of the desert plants weren’t familiar to us, though helpful signs pointed out creosote and manzanita bushes (pictured). Did you know Native Americans used manzanita leaves as toothbrushes?

Most of the desert plants weren’t familiar to us, though helpful signs pointed out creosote and manzanita bushes (pictured). Did you know Native Americans used manzanita leaves as toothbrushes?

After travelling so many days with just each other’s company, having friends along made the past week all the better.

Four friends enjoying Joshua Tree National Park

Four friends enjoying Joshua Tree National Park

 

 

January 2016

 

 

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
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4 Responses to Company

  1. Looks like even the weather cooperated and gave you four a great visit. (Disney re-painting ancient pictographs – that is sooo California)

  2. plaidcamper says:

    Such a wonderful place to visit, and more so in great company. Joshua Tree always delights!

    • Joshua Tree is a wonderful place to visit. As Mid-Westerners (from Ohio, originally), we certainly did not imagine that the desert would have so much to offer, but, as you say, “…it always delights!”

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