Spring Break – Day 5 (Joshua Tree)

At breakfast time this morning, we took full advantage of the gift basket that awaited us in our rental villa, enjoying bagels, “egg mcmuffins” and fruit salad.

We left Palm Springs about 9 o’clock, headed for the west gate of Joshua Tree National Park. We didn’t do any geocaching along the way and reached the park gates by 10.

Today we learned that the Mojave and Sonoran deserts come together within the park boundaries. It was cool(ish) in the morning, as we were at higher elevations in the Mojave desert. The wildflowers were beautiful: yellow, orange, white, pink, purple and red. Many varities of cactus were blooming too, including this beaver tail cactus…

We learned about several geological phenomena, including tafinos, aplites, pediments and bajadas, completing 5 earthcaches today. We also visited 5 virtual caches and a couple of them were very educational.

It was much hotter after we descended to the Sonoran desert. We had to do about a 1.5 mile (2.5 km) hike at this lower level and K did NOT enjoy it very much. But he did make a friend at the overlook.

The old mine site that we hiked to was pretty cool and we could see the quartz vein that the miners were following. C used one of the special features on his camera to take this picture of the mine remains.

It was an easy drive back to Palm Springs. NOTE: if you own a Colorado and get the low battery warning, be sure to shut the unit off before removing the cover and switching out for new batteries. Otherwise, you may end up with a non-functioning unit. NOTE: if your Colorado boots up properly but then shuts itself off after about 1 second, hold down the center key while the unit’s booting up and it will reset the unit.
Supper tonight was excellent. We tried an Italian place called Jonny Costa’s and C declared it was the best meal he’s had on this vacation. He ate 3 freshly baked rolls, 5 pizza bread sticks and a whole bowl of pasta, all washed down with a big glass of lemonade.
Tonight’s movie was “Dan in Real Life” and it was great. We all laughed out loud!
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