Travels with Tucker

Travels with Tucker

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Joshua Tree, Our Favorite Desert Park

Well I guess we've been having too much fun to update in the blog :-/

We HAVE been having fun since we reached the desert and started drying out from the months spent between the Oregon coast and San Francisco this past rainy winter.  After spending a couple nights in Bakersfield and seeing Buck Owens' club ...

Buck Owens' custom convertible behind the bar at the Chrystal Palace

 ... we headed for Joshua Tree National Park.

We visited Joshua Tree for the first time back in 2014 and really loved the park. We had a favorite campground and really hoped we could find a spot there this year.  Unfortunately we had to spend a night in an overflow camping area because Belle Campground was full, but the next morning we got a great spot there.

Joshua Tree is a unique place and a photographer's dream.  Everywhere you look there are huge vistas, weird-shaped Joshua Trees and piles of boulders looking as though a giant child had just dumped them out on the floor. The lighting is magical and the park is so huge the other visitors are not in the way.

We did some great hikes, including one to an abandoned mine site that has a stone shelter built in the 1890s that still has original artifacts in it. We hiked through the most beautiful desert scenery and scrambled up ravines full of boulders. There are also dirt roads to explore that lead far out in the desert where the solitude is incredible. Check out these Outdoor Project adventures that I published from here:

Here are some photo highlights:

Joshua Tree with rocks

Joshua Tree with sunset

The geology tour road at Joshua Tree NP

Historic Keys Ranch--a homesteading family lived here for decades

Original artifacts at the Eagle Cliff mine site

View from Eureka Peak (second-highest in the park) across to Mt. San Jacinto (second-highest in So. Calif.

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