April 12 – Twenty Palms, CA

It’s amazing how you learn to appreciate one desert over the other. The travel from Quartzsite to Joshua Tree National Park was through the Colorado and Mojave Deserts and there were no cacti. It was 200 miles of flat desert and no people or buildings along the way.

Part of the trip was along a State Road and I learned that the local engineers have no concern for drainage (as there is no rain) so wherever the water may flow across the road, they just design a dip in the road to get the water from one side to the other. You know how many dips we went through?

29 Palms RV Park was a nice campground with paved roads, decent size lots a pool and other amenities but no pickle ball. Met a few people but didn’t get to know anyone well. There is a Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Base nearby and many of the residents were people stationed at the base.DSC_0093

Wednesday we went to Joshua Tree National Park. Joshua Tree is 800,000 acres of desert, it’s a convergence of the Colorado (below 3000 feet) and Mojave (above 3000 feet) deserts. We did watch the video and get our stamps. This is a great place to hike, rock climb (more than 8000 routes to climb), drive thru, and view.

We did see the Cholla Cactus Garden, the Jumbo Rocks, Keys view, and we saw Oasis of Mara. We heard a presentation by the ranger on the Keys family and how they settled this area and supported desert living. They never had electricity but was self-sufficient on their own. A rough life style especially in the desert. There are also a lot of mines in the park but we didn’t get to see them. There will always be a next time, when I have a four-wheel drive vehicle which would be beneficial in some of these parks.DSC_0022

The Joshua Tree is not a tree or cactus, it is a part of the agave family. Its leaves are succulent and spiky. It’s found in the elevation above 4000 feet. Why Joshua Tree? according to legend, when the Mormons moved westward, the upraised arms of the plant resembled the upraised arms of the prophet Joshua in the Old Testament leading them into the Promised Land.

On top of Keys View (elevation 5200 feet) we were able to see Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs and all the golf courses. You could see for miles, even see the San Andreas Fault. You learn quickly the change of temperature with elevation.

The Cholla Cactus had warnings about not brushing near the cactus as it had a tendency to jump and stick to the unaware passerby.

There were campgrounds but the RV wouldn’t fit. Most of them were tent camping.
The scenery was beautiful.

Thursday was our easy day as there is not a whole lot to see in this area. The desert doesn’t have many different aspects to it. I rode the bike about 15 miles through town and checked out their murals, they have a bunch of them telling the history of the town and the people in it. There was at least 25 murals that had a story attached. Brenda was working on her creative issues.

All these months in the desert and I final see a tumbleweed roll across in front of me but it was on the bike trail.IMG_1345

The other surprise (for my gambling friends) is the number of casinos.  There are so many Indian Reservations and everyone has a casino.  Even in 29 Palms was the Tortoise Rock Casino.

I will tell you I did not count the number of palm trees in the city to see if they had 29.

Friday we headed out for Las Vegas, another first.

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