The past two days have been filled with sand, rock formations, trees, snow, and forests. Sounds strange right? Especially since I said I was going to the desert for vacation. But believe it or not, you CAN find all of these things within a 30 minute drive of Palm Springs (even the snow!).
Let’s being with the Joshua Tree National Park. As Marshall and I drove through the park, the scenery and flora changed. It was nice, because you would be driving between 40 – 50 miles through the park, but you wouldn’t be looking at the exact same thing the whole time. It was very interesting.
This was the first thing we saw as we exited the highway…
For a few miles, we had a nice landscape view. Lots of sand, dirt, and bushes that looked dead, but were probably still alive since we were driving through a desert. But finally things got more interesting!
These trees are bright red at the top of their stems in full bloom. Very pretty in real life. Just missed their full bloom by a week or two. But the exploring continued until we the landscape looked more like this:
These cacti were called Teddy Bear Cacti because from a distance, they look soft and cuddly. But I promise they are composed of thousands of small little thorns. Talk about ouch!
After that, no more plants… lots of rocks!
Finally, we found the trees that the park was named for. The Joshua Trees!
Although this tree is straight, a lot of the Joshua trees grew at odd angles. Some were slanted, and some had branches that grew downward instead of upward.
Lastly, we found a nice overlooking view of the Coachella Valley. From this view, you could see the cities of Palm Desert and Palm Springs plus the San Andreas fault line. Overall, the park had some nice views and interesting things to look at. And I even spotted a few critters along the way, like lizards and antelope ground squirrels. They were too quick to snap a picture!
But check this out:
Yes, that is snow you see at the top of that peak, and yes, we were planning on climbing that thing the next day….
Stay tuned for more!