January 31st, late morning, we say goodbye to the Salton Sea and head toward Joshua Tree National Park. A stop in Mecca, California for a bit of gas and a bite to eat, then it’s onward on Box Canyon Road. The scenery is marvelous if you like rock formations (and we do!) and if we could have found a shady spot to camp sans sand we would have spent a night here. It appeared all spots with a firm foundation were taken so we motored on.
Arriving at the park entrance rather late in the day we camp for the night just outside the south park entrance on BLM land; boondocking.
Joshua Tree National Park is huge, and half of it is a vast expanse of creosote covered valley with the desert’s bald mountains in the distance. This is desert tortoise territory and it’s heart warming to know they are safe out here to live out their long lives. You can read about the desert tortoise HERE. Oh how I would love to see one!!
Spotted at the Cottonwood trail head near the park entrance is a phainopepla, a small black bird that looks like a tiny black version of a mountain jay, but in fact is part of the waxwing family.
Dogs aren’t allowed on the trails so I wait for Jan to take a short hike back into the palm tree area and was rewarded with a glimpse of this small bird, and enjoy the scenery here at Cottonwood Springs.
Miles and miles into the park we come to the cholla garden and a small patch of ocotillo.
I would guess it’s about 30-35 miles into the park before we begin to see the Joshua trees . They are so unique and absolutely beautiful. Now it’s “miles and miles ” of these beautiful trees and we begin to get into the “big rocks”, too.
We make a quick potty stop at what will be our last stop in the park. As we are pulling out of our parking space and I am in the process of changing from reverse to drive when Charlie begins to bark his head off. I glance in the mirror to see a guy pulling out of his parking spot. He’s going to ram us, and I honk the horn! He abruptly stops thank goodness, and we get the heck out of his way. Thank you Charles Barkly for saving us from being T-boned in the parking lot! That little boy does NOT like anyone near our home, and today he proves he is serious about his job!
As all things do, we come to the end —the north entrance and our exit— of the park. Its been a long, day, but so worth it. The Chiweenie Brothers might not think that, but I certainly do. Tired and hungry, it’s time to find a spot to park for the night.
Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs. Hugs, Shawna