Deep breath. Think about the lovely day we had at Joshua Tree National Park, ahhh.
|rainbow over the mountains this morning|
We packed our peanut butter sandwiches (they don't need a cooler...), the dogs, plenty of water and we were off about 10:30. I'd wanted to get an earlier start, but one of those phone calls delayed us.
The first really nice thing that happened on our trip was that we got into the park completely free with our golden age (ahem...) pass. What a great little card that is.
|a large, healthy Joshua tree. |
they aren't actually trees, but are in the agave or yucca family and can grow to be 50 feet tall
|the coachella valley from Keys viewpoint. |
the ridge in the middle of the flat valley is the San Andreas Fault.
the cloud bank hanging over the San Jacinto mountains in the background is bringing rain to the higher elevations
|green desert cities in the distance|
After a while, we began to change elevation and left the Joshua Tree forests behind. The ground became flatter and more sandy with different vegetation - Mesquite bushes, different varieties of cholla and other assorted prickley things.
|a large cholla (ch oy a) shining in the sun|
these cactus look beautiful but are lethal, its barbs are almost impossible to remove once they grab on
|we drove through a patch of these tall ocotillo (oco tee o). |
right now they look like dry sticks, but after a rain they fill with tiny green leaves and in the spring the tips sport bottle brush looking scarlet flowers
|what do you know, I spy one tiny red flower blooming on this otherwise dead looking ocotillo!|
No evening color to the west tonight. Mt. San Jacinto has been under a thick, dark layer of clouds all day and we saw shafts of rain pouring down in many spots. One of the beautiful things about the desert here, however, is that the sunsets reflect in almost every direction and all I had to do was turn around to the east, to the south to see these two beautiful scenes.