Thursday, February 21, 2008

Beauty in Joshua Tree National Park

Recently our travels took us west to Joshua Tree National Park in southeastern California, a place we haven't yet had the opportunity to experience. Just outside the park we located a nice scenic area of BLM land with room for us to settle in for a few days of exploring.

Next to this area is an obviously man-made hill or mound running as far as we can see on the edge of the park . We soon learned that underneath is the Colorado River Aqueduct, one of the primary sources of drinking water in southern California. This aqueduct is some 240 miles long, starting at the Lake Havasu dam in western Arizona. The good ole Colorado sure nourishes many of us.

Soon after we arrived we took our first ride in the park and were thrilled to find that we were just in time for the annual parade of wildflowers.

Everywhere you look there are carpets of varying shades of yellows and purples stretching all the way to the mountains.

Within Joshua Tree there is an area of natural springs named Cottonwood Spring, where the palm trees and cottonwoods are flourishing. It was interesting to see the remnants of the arrastre used by gold prospectors in the 1800s. They used this circular grinder along with the water to pulverize ores and, hopefully, find gold in it. The springs were a cool oasis in the Colorado Desert for the miners, as well as ancient Indian tribes and early explorers.

Our day was topped off when as we were leaving the park we saw what looked like some sort of cat crossing the road. We drove slowing toward the area where he crossed and saw a bobcat meandering his way along next to the road just a few feet from us. He turned to glance at us several times but didn't seem to be concerned. He just swaggered slowly on his way.


  1. What lovely photos! We really enjoy your blog. What a once in a lifetime experience with the bobcat! You're giving us a serious case of hitch itch! Keep on blogging!

    Maureen & Eric

  2. We've been to Joshua Tree several times. Saw awesome flowers the last time - but never a bobcat.
    We're envious.

  3. Seeing a bobcat is rare, the only thing we've seen there is a coyote running through our camp at Jumbo Rock several years ago. Love your pictures of the wildflowers!

    Hugs, Sharon & Ron


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