Thursday, January 3, 2013

California - Joshua Tree National Park

One of the places that the kids asked to visit on this trip was Joshua Tree National Park.  Since we were in the general vicinity, we planned a day trip from Needles.  It was a bit of a drive, but not a bad one.  We chose to go I-40 to Twentynine Palms to avoid the very bumpy Highway 95 on the alternate route.  Good choice...nobody got carsick :)!

Our first stop was the Oasis Visitor Center.

There were some huge old palms growing pretty.

Not so pretty (in my opinion) was the poster about the tarantulas...eek!


After a quick look around at the exhibits, the kids all got their Jr. Ranger books and we headed into the park.  As we first entered the park, we were behind a very colorful van :).  This was not the only one all painted up that we saw that day, either.  Interesting...

The park paper we received from the Ranger had a pretty picture on the front of rocks with a circular rock balanced on top.  We were just driving around and ended up at the same spot!  Pretty neat...

We saw lots of interesting rock formations.  One called Skull Rock, it looked like a skull.  Then we saw a rock that looked just like a nose, funny!

The kids enjoyed climbing all over the rocks and checking it all out.

I enjoyed playing with my camera :)

At one stop we saw more of the Gambel's Quails.  These birds were all very well fed :), they were much fatter than the ones at our campsite.

The deeper we drove into the park, the bigger the Joshua Trees seemed to get.  Some of them were really huge!

Something I read said they were a Dr. Seuss kind of tree.  I have to agree, they are unlike anything I have ever seen before.

It was a very beautiful park.  So peaceful...

We had to wrap up our day and head to the nearest Ranger station for the kids to turn in their Jr. Ranger books before they closed.  The closest one was the Joshua Tree Visitor Center in the village of Joshua Tree.  The exhibit area was limited to only some photographs of the park, but they did have a movie available to watch.  The kids all received their badges and we headed towards home.

When we were headed to the park we had noticed what looked like a volcano.  On our way back by we googled it and sure enough, it is called Amboy Crater.  In the heyday of Route 66, the crater and lava field were popular tourist stops.  The website said that if you plan to hike to the rim, watch out for old military explosives.  Say what!? I do believe we will be skipping that hike, thankyouverymuch!

One final stop at a little place on Route 66 and we were done for the day.

1 comment:

  1. Finally got caught up your interesting blog again--you need to put this stuff in a book--or at least a digital scrapbook! Glad ya'll had a nice Christmas and New Year!