Jeff posted a photo he took at the Mojave Air and Space Port to Facebook yesterday, mentioning that he was on the way to Palm Desert. His aunt Debbie replied that she and Pete (Diane’s brother) were in Palm Desert for a few days, and soon we had made plans to meet this morning and go up to Joshua Tree National Park together.
We stopped in Yucca Valley for lunch at Two Guys Pies (recommended!), then visited the official park visitor center to get some ideas, and finally reached the park itself around 1pm.
The ranger at the visitor center had suggested we take the Barker Dam trail, which includes petroglyphs (some of which, sadly, had been “enhanced” by a film crew). When we got there, we discovered that the National Park Service had put their own petroglyph in the parking lot.
Here are a few of the photos I took along the trail.
At one point, a kind passer-by asked if she could take a photo of our group, and we accepted.
Then it was back to the hike and onward to the petroglyphs.
And then we finished the trail and returned to the car.
I wanted to get to the Cholla Cactus Garden before sunset, so we piled into the car and headed down the road. Even though I was in a hurry, I couldn’t resist the late afternoon light on the rocks near Hidden Valley Campground.
I didn’t see the climber in the rocks at first, but others in the car did.
I may not have paid close attention to the speed limit on the way to the Cactus Garden – we reached it just in time to see the cholla lit by the last rays of the sun before it went behind the mountains for the night.
Some of the cholla was displaying its fruit.
We took one last Joshua Tree selfie and started the long drive back to Palm Desert.
You never know where a Facebook post might lead you!