Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Meeting Joshua Tree

Denise was right when she thought that this trip won't be our last visit to Joshua Tree National Park. What a beautiful place!

Our first stop was at the visitor center to get some information on different trails for wandering. The person we were talking with kept pointing to photos in a book, and you know Denise and books, don't you? Yes, she bought a copy to take with us.

We spent the day wandering in the park, driving, stopping, walking, absorbing desert beauty. Denise thought we'd do a long hike and some short hikes. Somehow we ended up doing lots of short hikes; I think tomorrow will be a day for a couple of the longer trails.

We drove to Keys View, a high point in the park with views to the south. We could see the Salton Sea, the San Andreas Fault, and Palm Springs from there. I was riding in the camera pack but I kept the zipper cracked so I could see the view. The wind was so strong that Denise was having trouble standing still; I figured would have flown away if I had tried to walk in that wind!

Did you know that Joshua Tree National Park lives in two different deserts? We were in both the Mojave Desert and the Sonoran Desert today.

we walked the Cholla Cactus Garden nature trail late in the afternoon. There was a big warning sign at the trail entrance warning us not to touch the cactus. It looked spiky, but it appears that it is both spiky and prickly with the additional factor of having hooks on the end of the spikes. Here's a description from the brochure the park service provided:

Be on guard that you do not walk too close to the cholla cactus. At the slightest touch, the spines will penetrate your flesh and are extracted only with difficulty and pain.
The cactus spines were shiny in the late afternoon light, very pretty.

Tomorrow will be another Joshua Tree day.
--- Rover