Monday, December 24, 2012

Season's Greetings

We are now in Thermal California, which is near the Salton Sea. We are spending Christmas at my sister and brother-in-law's and will celebrate the new year at Oasis Palm's RV Resort where we are staying for the next week and a half. We hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Desert Sunrise

We had a short drive over to the Anza Borrego area. We took a short cut through Box Canyon that ends up in Mecca, near the Salton Sea.



We found a site right off Rockhound Canyon Road, that is right before you enter Borrego Springs. We stayed here in January. Another great boondocking spot with great views of the hills and desert scenery out our windows. Thursday morning we happen to wake up right before the sunrise. I grabbed my camera and ran out to take some pictures of the awesome sunrise.






WOW, definitely worth getting up early to see such beauty. We had rain most of the day and the next morning a little snow could be seen on some of the far hills.


We had done some shopping in La Quinta when we got here but made a trip to the Farmer's Market in Borrego Springs on Friday morning. We bought some yukon gold potatoes, hummus, tabouli salad and tapenade. They have a great selection of food items, especially for such a small out of the way town.



There are plenty of 4 wheel drive and hiking trails and hopefully we will get to take advantage of some while we are here. Savannah resting up after a leash free romp in the desert.




Monday, December 10, 2012

Magical Desert Tour

We spent another day driving through the beauty that is the desert. Or should I say two deserts. The eastern half of the park, which is below 3,000 feet above sea level is within the Colorado Desert and includes the jumping cholla cactus we saw the other day as well as the ocotillo and palo verde. The western half is in the Mojave Desert, at over 3,000 feet and includes pinyon pine amid the boulder stacks, as well as junipers, Mojave yuccas, prickly pear and of course the Joshua Trees. We spent most of our time this day in the eastern half where the Joshua Trees are every where, some as tall as 40 feet or over. We drove on the Geology Tour Road, which is 18 miles long and goes through fascinating geological sites. 4 wheel drive recommended on parts of it but didn't seem bad to us. Joe did air down the tires which makes it less bumpy. Not so much shake,rattle and roll. We also drove up to Keys View, which is 5,185 feet in elevation and overlooks the valley. We took a few quick pictures and a couple took a picture of us. As you can see in one of the pictures below, it was rather windy and sooo coldddddd!!! and so we didn't hang around there much. We had lunch at a day use area on the Geology Road area. Also near another great little campground among the rocks. Too small, as most the campgrounds in the Park are, for our big Beast. Oh well, we like where we are staying as it is very pretty and free!! Can't beat that. Another day we drove up to 29 Palms and then checked out Indian Coves that has another campground in the Rocks and a day use area where we had lunch and then came back through the park from the West entrance to the park. Pictures below of our days include some where I used my ipad app Luminar, which is a great little photoshop like program I really like for some special effects and different frames from what is available on my picasa program.














Another great sunset, no touchup needed.



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dream Beneath the Desert Sky - Joshua Tree

Title above is from In God's Country from the great U2 album, Joshua Tree. And yes, this Joshua Tree area is a great place to dream and take in the beauty and solitude of the desert. Joshua Tree National Park covers 790,636 acres and is home to the Park's namesake, the Joshua Tree, which is a member of the Agave family, a flowering plant. It's formal name is the Yucca brevifolia. Legend has it that it got its name when Mormon immigrants named the tree after the biblical figure, Joshua, when they saw the limbs of the tree as outstretched in supplication, guiding the travelers westward. It only flowers once a year, in spring, and so we weren't able to see that but they are still a very impressive Yucca plant. We didn't see them on our first drive through the park as they are not in the southern park of the park. However, today we saw plenty.





The trees aren't the only interesting thing to see in this Park. Rock formations are also a fascinating thing to see. The rock piles here actually began underground eons ago as a result of volcanic activity. We checked out a number of campgrounds in the park that are built around the rocks. It reminded me of our stay at City of Rocks in New Mexico.





We stopped at a day use area to eat the lunch we brought with us. A nice spot surrounded by rocks.




This is a big area for rock climbers as well as hikers as there are numerous trails from short nature walks to longer and more strenuous hikes.


We are really enjoying our time in the desert and of course there are the sunsets, which we can't get enough of.