Joshua Tree NP – Day 1

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We got ourselves in gear after a long travel day and headed to Joshua Tree (the town) and Joshua Tree National Park. Our first stop was at the Visitor Station to check in and see what goodies they had in the gift shop. I did purchase a T-shirt! And of course, we got the stickers for our “places we visit” wall on the side of our trailer slide!

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Entering a National Park is always a treat because we get in free!

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We started down a very nice paved road and stopped at each “looky loo” there was to see. The landscape was different from other areas we have seen only because it all looked about the same – Joshua Trees and rocks.

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Our first stop was Oasis Springs. Here there are picnic tables, restroom and garbage. It was also a rock climbers paradise, which we are finding love this area. From short rocks to the very high mountains to climb.

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Oops, that is only a “wanna-be” rock climber.

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Time for lunch. Morgan was able to get out with us here in the picnic area. She can’t go on the trails in a national park and we miss her. She’s very patient to wait in the car.

Our next stop was Hidden Valley. Once in the parking lot we thought the trail might begin at the end of the parking lot and loop around to the front of the parking lot. Off we went. We didn’t see any signs but followed a well-traveled path.

I was approaching a Joshua Tree and heard that “peck, peck, peck” sound of a woodpecker. I looked and looked but had a hard time locating the bird. Awww…there it is.

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That is a Ladder-backed Woodpecker Picoides scalaris. So tiny.

As we hiked out into the back country it was so beautiful. Although we didn’t see any signs leading us on this loop they said was here, we enjoyed what we were seeing.

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This clump of rocks were a dark red color. When we got closer to it we could see the slit in the top rock. Pretty cool!

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A rock climber at the top!

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We went about 3/4 of a mile and decided we were NOT on the right trail. We hiked back to the car and went to look at the sign we saw when we first came in! Yep, the description of the loop through the Hidden Valley. (more on that tomorrow) Off we went to see the Hidden Valley and added another mile to our already 1.5 miles. A nice day for a hike or two. ((I’m glad we did the first hike and got to see some beautiful country.))

Life is good! Boy, God has given us some beautiful places to visit. He is so gracious.

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