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Monday, April 07, 2003

Events/Joshua Tree Road Trip

Last Sunday, I took some friends on a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park. We started our visit at their annual art show at the Oasis Visitor Center in Twentynine Palms. The show was small, but the quality of the work was very high. I spent quite some time discussing Polaroid transfer printing with one of the artists as I was quite taken with her work.

After walking the short nature trail around the oasis and checking out the small, but modern visitor's center, we headed into the park itself for a picnic.

Admission to Joshua Tree is $10 per vehicle for a 7 day pass. This is less expensive than more popular parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone.

The day was cool, but not cold, with a blustery wind of between 15-25 mph. It was a great day to visit without the typical high heat that Spring can sometimes bring to the park.

Our lunch stop was Jumbo Rocks, a large collection of boulder formations which a beautiful and also a joy to climb for people of all skill levels. After a quick picnic lunch we spent an hour or so exploring the peaks and gullies of one small area. Joe (age 5), Emily and Shannon kept me on my toes as they led me through the rocky maze. Nursing a few bumps and scrapes, we packed up the car and continued on our East to West loop through the Northern edge of the park.

We enjoyed the scenery of low desert scrublands, distant mountains and scene after scene of amazing boulder fields, including Skull Rock. Stopping somewhat randomly, we checked out campground exhibits and, finally, one bit of rock scrambling before we left the boulders behind. Our loop ended at the West entrance, near the small town of Joshua Tree.

A picture gallery of our visit can be seen by clicking on the picture above.

You can still fit in a comfortable visit to Joshua Tree National Park before summer arrives, but May usually bring weather hot enough to discourage all but the hardiest of travelers. Even then, Fall, and another great time to visit, is only a few months away.

Click on the picture above for a small photo gallery of our visit.


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