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Daniel Tours America
Joshua tree, CA
24th May 2008 - 25th May 2008
Joshua Tree national park

Yucca Brevifloria, aka the Joshua Tree, is the bizarre bastard son of a regular yucca and a monkey puzzle tree.  It is so odd that the NPS gave it its own park just East of Los Angeles.

After a wonderful12 hours sleep, my first true lie-in in 2 months, I enjoyed made-from-scratch blueberry pancakes chez Liz. After that I drove the scenic route from San Diego to Joshua Tree, and pitched my tent in the Cottonwood site.  After braving the hoard of children at the evening ranger program I went to bed early on an air mattress with a slow puncture. At midnight I got up to take some photos of the beautiful night sky with my new camera.  I hope you can see just how many additional stars there are in the desert versus the city. 

This morning I started my tour of the park.  The park is on the border of two major deserts, the Mojave and the Colorado, the former higher and wetter than the lower drier latter.  One can see the vegetation change from creosote bushes to Joshua trees quite markedly as one crosses the boundary.    I enjoyed a few brief walks, but was not really in the mood for, nor did I have the time to enjoy, uber-hikes. 

Before leaving the park I took up Ranger Cynthia on her implied offer of becoming a Junior Ranger (she said that the 4-14 age limit was a guide, not a necessity), and completed my activity book.  I was made to do all three age brackets' activities, which I indeed did.  I am currently proudly sporting my NPS Junior Ranger badge.

After that I drove to Los Angeles.  This city is just enormous.  Its metropolitan area feels a billion times bigger than Atlanta's:  I had been in the metro area for 30 minutes on the freeway when I spied Downtown as a spec on the horizon, it was a further 45 minutes to the hostel on Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood. It's kinda cool so far here, it's obviously an old motel where they have crammed co-ed 6 bunks into the old rooms.

Tonight is a free dinner at the sister hostel, tomorrow is Memorial Day.


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Previous: San Diego tourism

Diary Photos

Joshua tree, CA

The universe, from CA

Creosote bush, Joshua Tree NP, CA

Ocotillo, Joshua Tree NP, CA

Cholla cactus, Joshua Tree NP, CA

Joshua tree, CA

Joshua tree forest, CA

Jr Ranger Clarke, Joshua Tree NP, CA

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