Friday, August 29, 2014

Joshua Tree National Park

Twentynine Palms isn't exactly a duty station many people want to come to.  In fact, when we were still in Virginia and would tell friends where we were going, their first response would usually be something along the lines of, "Oh no!  The stumps.  I'm so sorry."  After warning us of things to watch for, and telling us all the bad, we were usually told the good.  The first "good" people would tell us about is Joshua Tree National Park.  Just a quick google search will show you exactly why this is one of the best things about this area.  There really isn't much else to see or do within a 30 minute drive, but this park almost makes up for that.  

When D Step's brother came in on thursday, we decided to finally make the trek there and do a bit of exploring.  Unfortunately it was around 1pm in the desert, but luckily we got a "cool" day- 101 degrees is actually pretty cool for an afternoon in this area!  

Our first stop was the visitors center.  The boys were both fast asleep already.  The guys got out and asked about a suggested place to visit with two toddlers, who were both sleeping.  They gave a few different ideas, and we were on our way.  This park is absolutely huge, so 15 minutes of a drive later, we were at our first stop.  

Our first stop was to "skull rock."  I really don't think I have to explain this further.  As you can see in the photos, it really does look just like a skull!  
We walked a bit on some of the trail to explore a bit.  It was absolutely stunning, everywhere you looked.  

Our next stop was to see an old mine shaft.  It was a quick walk and lots to see.  We learned that this area held more gold than the San Francisco Gold Rush, and has hundreds of mines.  These particular ones closed in the 80's.  

On the walk- Cactus Flowers

I could not imagine living in this.  
You can see the mines in the bottom photo
Our last stop was to a dam, where after quick walk, there was actually water!

More Joshuas

My boys

Daddy Step and E Step

Daddy, Z Step, and E Step

Old watering hole for cattle

4 Steps.  

Love this one!

This photo cracks me up.  If you know the story, and look close, you will laugh too!

This park makes you really appreciate the desert's beauty.  I cannot wait for the weather to cool off, so we can return again.