Another early morning departure from Tucson on January 17 for a 6-hour drive to Twentynine Palms California - so-named because there were 29 Washingtonia Palm trees growing in an oasis when the place was first surveyed in 1855. The town is home to the north entrance of the Joshua Tree National Park. We arrived just in time to head into the park for a peek at the rugged desert landscape at sunset before settling in for the night.
On the morning of the 18th, Nancy had some coaching calls while Richard did some blogging before we packed up and headed back into the park for a closer look. We started at the Oasis of Mara Trail, with its lush vegetation, before strolling through our first stand of Joshua Trees. Richard wandered around trying to find the ones with the most majestic poses. They look like they were taken from a Dr. Seuss book!
Amazing rock formations look like dump-truck debris in shifting shades from dark cocoa to milk chocolate. Tenacious trees defy the odds and find root amidst the arid boulders. The warmth of the mid-day sun is welcome on this cool January afternoon.
As we drove towards the south exit it was clear that Joshua Tree is the clash of two ecosystems where the Mojave and Colorado Deserts collide. The terrain was stark and flat and the vegetation was sparse, so we pushed on towards Palm Springs for our next stop of our Southern California trek.
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Nancy McCabe &