Joshua Tree National Park

The desert is FABulous.

Sisters Enjoying Joshua Tree

Sisters Enjoying Joshua Tree

We had a delightful two night mini-vaycay at an AirBnB owned and operated by one of Windy’s friends. What a good time we had!

We thought we were going to stop for lunch in Hacienda Heights at a place called Alaska Cafe but instead:

Instead we were headed to Akasaka Sushi Bar.
I would never imagine I’d find myself at a sushi bar when eating with my sisters!

On our first evening we drove into the park in search of stars. Oh Yes, we had Stars. Of course the pictures don’t do them justice because I was too lazy to set up the tripod…but Night Sight on the phones gave us at least a memory, taken in total darkness btw. We chose these two nights because they were the closest to a New Moon before I leave for Iceland.

After breakfast and some hot tubbin’ and hammock swingin’ we went to the nearby Pioneertown, used extensively in Western movies and TV, and music videos and tiktoks, etc. and now also occupied by shops and a well-regarded restaurant. We had fun and far too many pictures follow.

Next stop we drove into the park for a walk along the High View Nature Trail.

You can almost see Lona on the steps.
Windy and I called it quits but our much older sister wanted to march on and we said ‘go, enjoy, we’ll be here’.

Next we took a spin through 29 Palms to enjoy the murals followed by home sweet home where we ate cabbage rolls Lona brought that tasted just like Mom’s and we watched a couple episodes of Death in Paradise. It was a lovely evening.

And now it’s our last morning. We all agreed, we want another night! But we packed up anyway and headed home through the park. We stopped for an excellent walk along the Arch Rock Nature Trail.

A wake-up call.
So Long Joshua Tree, ‘Till soon!

We made a loop…

June 12-13, 2019 with Windy

We made a loop first to Hesperia, then we drove down through Joshua Tree, and finally to Riverside and the Mission Inn.

Oh Man Joshua Tree National Park, a wonder of the natural world.

It was so hot…

It was so hot when we did the drive-through, yes yes it’s a dry heat but yikes, it was still too hot for either of us to consider walking off into the desert.

Of course we were…

Of course we were really hoping for stars but I was apprehensive since the moon was more than half full, fully overhead, and wouldn’t set until 3am.

…Joshua Tree National Park….

…Joshua Tree National Park. We’ve met here for a day-after-Christmas day at the park.

We stayed at Circle C again, as always. It’s a great location and much as we like the family and the whole ambiance of the place, the quality of the rooms have been declining steadily, relentlessly. Some, even for not-really-fussy me, were unacceptable. I looked at three rooms before agreeing to the last.

…Pine City, where yes…

…Pine City, where yes there are pine trees. Pine City is actually a large formation of sandstone weathered into huge shapes with space between the shapes for wandering.

But then the wind…

But then the wind calmed down and we were simply Cold, the level of cold we could manage. Joshua Tree is such a marvelous place, so full of Marvels!

I copied this quote…

I copied this quote from the internet…here And in the stroy from March.

“According to legend, Mormon pioneers considered the limbs of the Joshua trees to resemble the upstretched arms of Joshua leading them to the promised land. Others were not as visionary. Early explorer John Fremont described them as “…the most repulsive tree in the vegetable Kingdom.”

We had our Christmas Day dinner at Denny’s, Denny’s being The Only restaurant open within 30 miles as guaranteed by Gavinda, our host at the Circle C.

We had a cutie-pie waiter who was workin’ us for a nice tip. He was a pretty bad waiter but plenty entertaining so he won for that 30% tip on a Denny’s senior special.

BTW – Food! Travel night-dinner at Denny’s(!). Today we ate breakfast at the motel ‘buffet’ which consisted of bagels and peanut butter, lunch at the Crossroads Cafe that was surprisingly delicious, and dinner at the Twentynine Palms Inn which was also delicious but that was what we were expecting. Then we drove back into the park for some stargazing, and then enjoyed the jacuzzi and had hot cocoa and biscotti back at the room. What a great day!

Good morning! We’re…

December 27

Good morning! We’re off for our ambling drive home.

In 1994 the town of Twentynine Palms sponsored a Mural Project, now called ‘The Oasis of Murals’, in hopes of reviving the community. There are a few more than 20 of them now.

Many of these huge projects have a military theme because Twentynine Palms hosts a major military installation (Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC)) and the town is full of service people and those who service them.

It’s worth a drive out here just for a look at the murals, but of course don’t miss the park!

Today’s first stop, White…

Today’s first stop, White Tank campground and hike to Arch Rock. We all agreed the campground is utterly amazing and the walks are perfect.

The camp sites are each nestled into protected areas of parking, tent pitching, picnic table, campfire ring, and cooking grill. There are only 25 sites, no water, and a few chemical toilets, but so cozy we all want to stay here.

Then we drove on…

Then we drove on through the park, through the two deserts, stopping for a stroll through the Cholla Cactus Garden.

Hi ladies! Notice how it is still cold, but we are no longer entirely bundled-up, swaddled head to toe.

And then what’s a…

And then what’s a road trip without at least a little car trouble? A side trip to Sears in Palm Desert, and 500 bucks later…we back on the road, and home snug in our beds before 10pm, happy in the marvels of Joshua Tree National Park, and brakes that work.

We’re off this morning…

March 21, 2008 with Cynthia

We’re off this morning to enjoy the dramatic sights of Joshua Tree National Park. But first we goofed around, ate breakfast, stopped off at some stores, drove, drove, ate lunch, drove, drove, and then checked in, and stopped off at the Visitor’s Center for maps.

We ate dinner at a Mexican place down by the Marine base where ‘Marine Haircut’ joints dominate the strip malls. I grabbed just a few shots towards evening for something to do tonight. It’s blooming season in the desert!

Sunset out the back…

Sunset out the back door of our motel. Most unfortunately, there were no Joshua Trees in view. Fortunately there were palm trees…and photoshop…and ‘color burn’.

Here’s the National Park…

March 22

Here’s the National Park Service ( summary:

“Viewed from the road, this desert park only hints at its vitality. Closer examination reveals a fascinating variety of plants and animals that make their home in this land shaped by strong winds, unpredictable torrents of rain, and climatic extremes.

“Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the attraction of this place. Come see for yourself!”

Joshua Tree is a…

Joshua Tree is a renowned destination for rock climbers and you’ll see more of them coming up. This climber is in the middle in the upper third of the photo.

Don’t miss the woman’s backpack. Awww.

Joshua Tree Hydra….

Joshua Tree Hydra.

Here’s an Internet comment speaking of the different eco-systems in Joshua Tree: “The higher, slightly cooler, and wetter Mojave Desert is the special habitat of the undisciplined Joshua tree, extensive stands of which occur throughout the western half of the park.

“According to legend, Mormon pioneers considered the limbs of the Joshua trees to resemble the upstretched arms of Joshua leading them to the promised land. Others were not as visionary. Early explorer John Fremont described them as “…the most repulsive tree in the vegetable Kingdom.””

At this level in…

At this level in the desert the wild flowers are soo small and nestle themselves against some protection. The Rangers told us to take the long drive down to Cottonwood Springs to see more, and we’ll be doing that tomorrow.

That’s Cynthia enjoying a…

That’s Cynthia enjoying a quiet time on the rock in the center of this photo.

All the campsites in the park were totally full and all the motel and hotel signs said ‘no vacancy’, and it’s the weekend with perfect weather for daytripping, and yet except for having to wait to park, we didn’t feel crowded at all, and it was Quiet.

If you want to…

If you want to climb these rocks all you have to do is show up with your ropes and you’re on. I really was surprised that they don’t take reservations and you don’t need any kind of qualification.

These guys will help you. I’ll watch.

From the Black Rock…

From the Black Rock Visitor’s Center, here was one long steep walk! You can’t even see the car it’s such a speck down there by the road. We think we must have taken a wrong turn!

Here’s the courtyard of…

March 23

Here’s the courtyard of our motel, The Circle C, with its lovely pool we never used and its lovely jacuzzi we never used and at the far end is the breakfast room we used every morning.

The rooms are gigantic with super high ceilings, plenty of windows, a big couch, two big puffy chairs, a kitchen and kitchen table and chairs, so despite that all these items were a bit ramshackle, we were entirely comfortable.

We’re headed down now…

We’re headed down now on the winding 30 mile drive to Cottonwood Springs. Here’s a great pull-out to enjoy the Cholla Cactus Garden.

You can see some people on the far right edge to get an idea of how big these babies are.

I wonder if those…

I wonder if those nubs will be/have been flowers?!

Joshua Tree National Park varies in elevation from around 6000 feet down to around 1200. Here’s some paragraphs I basically copied from the Magic of the Internet:

“Two deserts, two large ecosystems primarily determined by elevation, come together in the park. Few areas more vividly illustrate the contrast between “high” and “low” desert. Below 3000 feet (910 m), the Colorado Desert, occupying the eastern half of the park, is dominated by the abundant creosote bush. Adding interest to this arid land are small stands of spidery ocotillo and cholla cactus.”

More from the Internet:…

More from the Internet:

“Standing like islands in a desolate sea, oases, a third ecosystem, provide dramatic contrast to their arid surroundings. Six fan palm oases dot the park, indicating those few areas where water occurs naturally at or near the surface…”

We walked just about one city block into the trail at Cottonwood Springs and found…

Scroll to Top