Monday, September 04, 2006

Joshua Tree

Sorry, the vacation entires haven't been in a timely manner. But, since I know y'all are interested here's another adventure from our vacation.

The day after spending 25 hours awake and our flying fiasco, we decided to take a major driving trip from where we were saying out to the Palm Springs area. Dave thought he had found a pretty direct route on the map, so the route was our plan. We quickly found out that the direct route was over a mountain. Thank goodness we were driving a jeep. Two hours plus later we arrived in Palm Springs to take the Palm Springs tram up San Jacinto. Unfortunately, the tram was closed for maintenance, but we decided to come back later in the week to try again on the tram and for a hike.

We drove in Palm Springs and found a grocery store to get a flat of water for our journey out to Joshua Tree. We then ate lunch at a cute little Mexican restaurant. The food was good and so was the ambiance, but DAMN is it hot in Palm Springs. We then got back in the jeep and drove another to Joshua Tree.

Because we were only planning on going to Joshua Tree that day for a star gazing, we decided to stop into the visitor's center to get more information on where to go and what to see. The park rangers gave Dave a map and cicled some things and we were off. And, boy, is is DAMN hot at Joshua Tree.

We started off doing a little walk at Arch Rock Trail. The rock formations were really unique and unexpected. They looked like sandstone, but the rocks were actually lava.

Another unique thing we saw at Joshua Tree was Keys View. Being high atop the desert we were able to lookout and see all the way to Mexico, Palm Springs, and spectacular view of the San Andreas Fault.

After eating dinner at the Pizza Hut in the exciting town of Twenty-Nine Palms, we returned to Joshua Tree just as the sun was setting to take part in a star gazing party. The star gazing was amazing. I have never seen so many stars. In addition to many shooting stars, we saw several constellations, the space station, the Milky Way (amazing) and we got to look through a telescope and saw the Ring Nebula, the Whirlpool Nebula, and Jupiter and its moons. Here are some pictures of the rocks and trees as the sun was setting.

Finally, we drove the three hours (going around the mountain) back to the beach.


jeff said...

hey...i didn't know you guys went up to keys view. that place is pretty awesome. i routinely head out there and run that road during the winter.

Dave said...

Yep! According to the signs up there that showed different visibility conditions, it was a pretty good day for it too. Our view looked just like the "good day" sign, though we could see the big wall of smog in the gap to the right.

Meredith said...

That's a long drive from where you live! That's like us driving to Detroit to do a run.