Sunday, January 9, 2011

Joshua Tree National Park & Palm Springs

Sat - Jan 8th & Sun - Jan. 9th

California Fan Palms at the Cottonwood Springs Oasis in the Colorado Desert portion of Joshua Tree National Park. The Colorado Desert is part of the Sonoran Desert. It is below 2,000 feet and very hot and dry.

These palm trees are probably about a hundred years old. They are very large. My mom is standing in front of them.

This is a cholla cactus in the cholla gardens of the park.

Mom and John are walking on the path thru the gardens. The Joshua trees only grow in the higher elevations of the park.

We did lots of nature walks thru the unique rock formations. Mom really liked the hikes thru the rocks. They were pretty cool.

They were formed by volcanic upheavals and erosion factors.

Mom said they reminded her of some of the places she had been in Utah. John said they reminded him of the Sheyenne Grasslands. Ha, Ha! For those of you who don't know, that's just a few miles from where I grew up in North Dakota.

The Arch.

Just two more examples of old, weathered things.

The Joshua trees are found in the higher elevations which are part of the Mohave Desert. They are not actually trees, but the largest variety of the yucca family in the U.S. Most of them have lots of branches and look like trees, but not all of them. The only way to tell them from yuccas for sure is that the yuccas have hairy tendrils on their needles. The Joshuas do not.

Mom and John stopping to read a sign along the trail.

The biggest Joshua in the park is 42 feet tall with a crown width of 34 feet and 9 feet around the trunk. They have an average life span of 150 years, but some are believed to live 300 to 500 years.

These are yuccas.

Mom watching the gondola at Mt. Jacinta on the south edge of Palm Springs, taking kids in their snow suits with their sleds on the ten minute ride (2 1/2 miles) to the top to play in the snow.

Main street downtown Palm Springs.

We walked the downtown celebrity stars area. Mom is standing in front of Elvis's star. We saw lots of others like Bob Hope, Marilyn Monroe, Dinah Shore, Liberace, Randolph Scott, Monty Hall, Ginger Rogers, Frank Sinatra, Harpo Marx, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and lots more. Also, a statue of Sonny Bono, their mayor.

And everybody's favorite, Lucy!

Over and out,

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