I can’t visit Palm Springs without a trip to Joshua Tree. I can’t visit Vegas without some time in Death Valley. Dr. Seuss Landscapes call to me. After all the Lorax lives here. I landed in Palm Springs, rented a hatch back with plans of curling up tight for the cold desert night, and headed for Joshua Tree. I had two hours of sleep under my belt as Elliott Brood had rocked the Crocodile that night. It was dark when I got to the park and I decided the motel (with beds) right outside the entrance was much more appealing. As it was, I just couldn’t get up in time for sunrise.
In the morning, I stopped in at the corner cafe next to the visitors center, the Park Rock Cafe. The owner was delightful, the food was great, and this became my spot for re-charging my phone and my energy. And into the park….I did go!
I took a nice walk along Boy Scout Trail with my camera. I met a friendly trail runner along the way and lamented (as always) the same problem I encounter when I too want to run and take better than iphone quality images. I headed over to play with light on the Barker Dam hike. The dead looking things are alive with character here in this magical park.
Hidden Valley campground had filled up! But there was plenty of spaces left at Ryan Mountain. I parked my sleeper car and headed off towards the rocks to catch the brilliant right-before-sunset glow. It was fun scrambling up the boulders to perfect scenic positions. I shot and shot and shot until the light was lost and the desert chill had set in. It was a cold night spent in the car and an amazingly windy dawn. The wind was so strong! Standing outside the car for very long was not an option. I headed back to the Park Rock Cafe for breakfast and a warm up. A few of my favorite images from Joshua Tree: