Joshua Tree National Park

With a summer of park hosting behind us, we made our way south to sunny California. Last year as we passed through the southern part of the state we checked out the big trees of the Giant Sequoia National Monument. This time we visited much smaller “trees” at Joshua Tree National Park.

We opted to camp in the first come – first served Belle Campground. It is small with only 18 sites but we like it that way. Our site was nestled up next to a group of large and rather weathered old boulders. It reminded us of the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, CA and City of Rocks State Park in New Mexico.

After checking out the visitor center at Twentynine Palms, the Cholla Cactus Garden and a day drive through the north end of the park we knew a return visit was a must! The Joshua trees give the desert scenery a welcome sense of depth and texture. We even had our first ever sighting of tarantula’s crossing the highway!

Our visit was cut short after we discovered a leak in the shower stall and had to take it for repairs in nearby Yucca Valley. We actually had the time to return and explore the park more but a major rain event was due to hit so we decided to move on towards Las Vegas to visit Patricia’s family.

As it turns out, we departed with one of the parks little residents! A desert mouse! It took four full days but we finally evicted the little guy. Patricia likened this extraction effort to war! It was getting into her spices and some other food stores. The poor fella had no chance!