This last weekend was one of those very busy, life never really stops kind of weekends. Eric’s parents stopped in on their way over to AZ to be hear for Eric’s White Coat Ceremony. They stayed for the weekend and on Saturday we packed up the van (it’s nice to have extra seats again so we don’t have to take along a second car) and headed over to Joshua Tree. We have been wanting to get out there for awhile, but it just hadn’t happened yet. The summers are crazy hot there, so this tends to be a good time of the year to go.
Joshua Tree is a National Forest. It was given this name by the Mormons who were traveling west in their wagons. When they saw the “tree” that is scattered all over the Mojave desert, it looked to them like their prophet Joshua lifting his hands to heaven. Hence, the name Joshua Tree. (This is what the park ranger at the entrance booth told us.)
There is not much scenery change in Joshua Tree. Lots and lots of Joshua trees that really look more like cacti (maybe they are??) even more rocks, and thorns. It seemed that just about every plant had some type of thorn on it. I am sure this is some sort of protection that the plant has, but makes for little ones falling a very big hazard!
Our first stop was to climb up some very steep rocks. Everyone except me and Gabe. Having a baby strapped to your chest kinda throws your balance off. Not a good combination with a steep rock climb! So I hung around the bottom and snapped some pics. This is when I observed all the thorns on the plants. Ken spotted a coyote roaming around. The coyote was not scared at all of people. It was amazing how well he blended in with his surroundings. Unless he was moving, you could not even see him. After we had exhausted this rock for climbing, we loaded back up and drove for about half an hour until we found another spot to climb. These rock were much rounder and smoother. Eric, his Dad, and the four older ones took off to climb a huge rock and Karen and I explored the campground with the little ones. Maryann was so full of energy. As we were walking, she would just bounce up and down. It was fun to watch her. On our trip back to the car, we spotted everyone standing on top of the rock they had just climbed. The sun was setting, so we grab a few snacks and loaded up for our drive back home. It took quite a while to get out of the park and back on the freeway. I think the dark probly made it feel even longer because there was nothing really to see. It was a really fun day and we all came home very exhauted!!!
The First Set of Rocks Climbed
Papa and the Boys
Nana and the Girls
The line up…or down…
loved the lighting in this pic.
Maryann climbing a rock
I loved the curly strings in this plant