Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Joshua Tree & Palm Springs

We had two destinations in mind for today: Joshua Tree National Park and Palm Springs.

I neglected to mention, yesterday, things we noticed or discussed along the way:

The humidity here in Twentynine Palms is 15%, vs Davis, 44%. I have not noticed it as much as Claire; she puts on sunscreen in the morning and lip balm several times.

The drive from AZ to CA was dry, uneventful. We were sleepy, probably dehydrated--I thought that we didn't have to worry about this while in the car. The swim was brief, but refreshing. We are very glad we decided to have pools in our motels.

There were numerous towns that barely merit the name--we are clear that these are not places we'd care to live--hot, dry, lacking in amenities, none of our friends.

Today, we were determined to greet the sunrise with camera ready. But, we misjudged the distance to the viewing spot we selected. We also had difficulty finding where we were on the map. But, we managed to see enough to satisfy ourselves and get back to the motel in time to pack, eat breakfast and depart by the 11am check out time.


Sunrise Advancing

Park Namesake

Joshua Tree and Rocks in the early morning light. I was surprised at the number of rocks and mountains--I had expected flat desert.

Joshua Tree

Moribund Tree

Trees. We were fascinated with the yellow blossoms and thought they made the JTs "pop."

Rock and Tree

Arch Rock and Druid Initiate

Arch Rock in Direct Sunlight

Field of Boulders

Chuck's Pre-lunch Snack at A&W

The Motel 6 is located on the edge of town in Palm Springs and has a hot tub and a pool with water at a perfect temperature--you can walk right in, but still feel refreshed. We found--constructed--a shady spot and then alternated reading and dipping.

We met with Claire's cousin, Bruce, tonight; he has lived in Palm Springs for six years. She has not seen him in a very long time; but, since we were near, we made plans to see him.

He has a beautiful one story house in town, with a pool and spa. He showed us around. He has some lovely art from local artists. He was quite proud of his memorabilia from attending Obama's inauguration. We chatted and snacked for a while and left for Lulu's, a hot new bistro downtown.

Claire and Cousin Bruce

Bruce's Chicken Dinner

Claire's Tilapia Dinner

Chuck's Flank Steak

After dinner, Bruce gave us a brief tour around town and we returned to our Motel 6. Claire tried the gate around the pool to see if we could have a midnight swim: Alas, they have a mechanical lock that prevents the entry keys from working. Oh, well, tomorrow is another day, another town.

The most repulsive tree in the vegetable kingdom," ~ Explorer John Fremont, describing Joshua Trees