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The very unique landscape in Joshua Tree National Park

Shortly after this photo was taken, the guys were good samaritans and assisted a group carrying a man who had broken his leg bouldering; we then took the injured man to the regional hospital since his small car was not practical while we had 2 small SUVs

Shortly after this photo was taken, the guys were good samaritans and assisted a group carrying a man who had broken his leg bouldering; we then took the injured man to the regional hospital since his small car was not practical while we had 2 small SUVs

Visitors see only about 15% of the park area with the remaining 85% managed as wilderness; Joshua Tree sits at the confluence of three unique ecosystems - Mojave Desert in the north; San Bernardino Mountains in the west and Colorado Desert in the south

Visitors see only about 15% of the park area with the remaining 85% managed as wilderness; Joshua Tree sits at the confluence of three unique ecosystems - Mojave Desert in the north; San Bernardino Mountains in the west and Colorado Desert in the south

2.5 million years ago Joshua trees lived side by side with mammoths, ground sloths, and saber-toothed cats; in that early time it may have been the giant Shasta Ground Sloths who were responsible for helping to spread Joshua tree seeds

2.5 million years ago Joshua trees lived side by side with mammoths, ground sloths, and saber-toothed cats; in that early time it may have been the giant Shasta Ground Sloths who were responsible for helping to spread Joshua tree seeds

Roadrunner; the Joshua tree is not actually a tree but a type of grass-like flowering plant called a monocot (that would be a good Scrabble word); until recently, the Joshua tree was considered a member of the lily family

Roadrunner; the Joshua tree is not actually a tree but a type of grass-like flowering plant called a monocot (that would be a good Scrabble word); until recently, the Joshua tree was considered a member of the lily family

Skull Rock is among the most photographed of the thousands of rocks that decorate Joshua Tree National Park; the lily family has now been split into 40 separate plant families, and the Joshua tree has found its rightful place in the agave family

Skull Rock is among the most photographed of the thousands of rocks that decorate Joshua Tree National Park; the lily family has now been split into 40 separate plant families, and the Joshua tree has found its rightful place in the agave family

The park is 1235 sq mi (slightly larger than Rhode Island) and was first declared a national monument in 1936 before becoming a national park in 1994; Joshua trees only grow in the Mojave Desert at altitudes between 2000 and 6000 ft above sea level and can live 150  years

The park is 1235 sq mi (slightly larger than Rhode Island) and was first declared a national monument in 1936 before becoming a national park in 1994; Joshua trees only grow in the Mojave Desert at altitudes between 2000 and 6000 ft above sea level and can live 150+ years

This natural bridge was on the Hidden Valley Loop Trail; Palm Springs is roughly an hour from either the north (Mojave Desert) or south (Colorado Desert) entrance to the park; the entrances are 60 miles or a 90 minute drive apart

This natural bridge was on the Hidden Valley Loop Trail; Palm Springs is roughly an hour from either the north (Mojave Desert) or south (Colorado Desert) entrance to the park; the entrances are 60 miles or a 90 minute drive apart

We walked the Hidden Valley and Barker Dam Loop Trails admiring the unique desert landscape such as this prickly pear cactus; widespread fascination with the Joshua tree arguably began when U2’s landmark Joshua Tree album was released in 1987

We walked the Hidden Valley and Barker Dam Loop Trails admiring the unique desert landscape such as this prickly pear cactus; widespread fascination with the Joshua tree arguably began when U2’s landmark Joshua Tree album was released in 1987

I wanted to stop at the World Famous Crochet Museum for Mike but, unfortunately, it wasn't open; the former Fotomat booth is stuffed with all sorts of crocheted pieces and is now featured in an HSBC ad campaign

I wanted to stop at the World Famous Crochet Museum for Mike but, unfortunately, it wasn't open; the former Fotomat booth is stuffed with all sorts of crocheted pieces and is now featured in an HSBC ad campaign

The cholla cactus garden in Joshua Tree lies near the transition zone between the Colorado and Mohave Deserts; they inhabit a very small, but specific part of the Colorado Desert and disappeared altogether before we reached the southern exit

The cholla cactus garden in Joshua Tree lies near the transition zone between the Colorado and Mohave Deserts; they inhabit a very small, but specific part of the Colorado Desert and disappeared altogether before we reached the southern exit

The guys were all excited about getting me a haircut but, alas, the salon was closed; Joshua Tree National Park is open 365 days a year and 24 hours a day with a $30 entrance fee per car good for 7 days

The guys were all excited about getting me a haircut but, alas, the salon was closed; Joshua Tree National Park is open 365 days a year and 24 hours a day with a $30 entrance fee per car good for 7 days

Barker Dam was built by cowboys to water their cattle in an era before climate change; in the late 1800s, 10 inches of rain fell here annually but now the average is only 2-5 which is not enough to support ranching

Barker Dam was built by cowboys to water their cattle in an era before climate change; in the late 1800s, 10 inches of rain fell here annually but now the average is only 2-5 which is not enough to support ranching

The beavertail cactus is the only type of prickly pear cactus without spines; the Cahuilla Native Americans used beavertail as a food staple with the buds cooked or steamed and the seeds ground into mush

The beavertail cactus is the only type of prickly pear cactus without spines; the Cahuilla Native Americans used beavertail as a food staple with the buds cooked or steamed and the seeds ground into mush

California scrub jay; John C. Frémont of the US Army Corps of Topographical Engineers was the first settler to write about Joshua trees in 1844: …their stiff and ungraceful form makes them to the traveler the most repulsive tree in the vegetable kingdom

California scrub jay; John C. Frémont of the US Army Corps of Topographical Engineers was the first settler to write about Joshua trees in 1844: …their stiff and ungraceful form makes them to the traveler the most repulsive tree in the vegetable kingdom

The cholla cactus has been nicknamed the teddy bear cactus due to it’s friendly look but do not be fooled!; also known as the jumping cactus, the chollas have a way of snagging feet and legs with thorns that are difficult to extract

The cholla cactus has been nicknamed the teddy bear cactus due to it’s friendly look but do not be fooled!; also known as the jumping cactus, the chollas have a way of snagging feet and legs with thorns that are difficult to extract

Posted by VagabondCowboy 10:47

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great photos and great story

by langdavid

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