Monday, October 31, 2011

Joshua Tree National Park

After the Patton Museum, we first tried to enter the Joshua Tree National Park through the south entrance, but it was closed due to flash floods (in September! Honestly!). So we decided to take the long, scenic route around the eastern end of the park before entering from the north. The park is vaguely eliptical in shape and the road we took can be called scenic - except that the scenery doesn't change much. It's desert and bare mountains all round.

We first missed our exit up north around the park, so I decided to take a wild turn across the narrow strip of brushwood and sand that divided the freeway, as I couldn't see a single exit until the next town, which was umpteen miles away. This extralegal maneuvre was met by general acclaim and whoo hoo's from the other two, who were by now resigned to the fact that I was a madman out to kill us all. (I had a brainfart last night that made me do some maneuvers that had them in stiches...)

The park itself is mighty purdy, with huge rocks strewn round like marbles, much like Arches National Park in Utah. There were the famous Joshua trees of course, and an area with a type of cacti where they also had a vewy cute little chipmunk who blatantly tried to beg food from us. While there we got to talking to a guy who'd been working in Florida and was now traveling around for three months in a Volkswagen van he'd bought and was taking with him to Europe in a while. It took me about 30 seconds to place the accent before I correctly greeted him as a Dane. Readers of this blog (both of you) will know how much I like Danes. We had a pleasant talk (good luck, Henning!) and left while Albie was still drooling over his van.

Later we stopped at a couple of places and got in some shots of a Joshua Tree and some rocks, before rounding it off with an hour at the incredibly beautiful Keys View. I took a shitload of pics both just outside and inside the park, all of 'em can be found here. There were so many, I decided to make a separate post outta Keys View, more about that in a later post.

Route 177, which runs along the eastern end of the park.

Different direction, different place, same fucking boring road.

Right after this pic was taken, the bush in the middle caught fire and began to speak to us. I believe a choir of angels could be heard in the distance.

This was the Cholla Cactus area where we met both the chipmunk and the Dane.

Ze chipmunk.

Incredible vistas.

The Joshua tree in all its splendor. I experimented a lot with different positions of the sun behind the tree. As you can see, in some of these pics the tree looks eerily transparent. First, some B & W arty-fartiness:


Note how the light makes it look like the upper part of the tree is slightly transparent.

Then in color.


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