As one travels through the Western US one is oft to make the comment…”now, that’s a whole lotta desert”. In fact, most of the west can seem very monotonous. Long, straight highways cutting across miles of arid wilderness. So, it can be easy to loose track of the details and beauty in each area. The Mojave Desert area has a few of these little gems, and those I wanted to highlight here.

An obvious start is, of course, Joshua Tree National Park  located in the “high” desert (that would be higher up rather than lower down) and a very unique micro-wilderness. It’s home to the iconic Joshua Tree, forever immortalized by Irish rock bands, but otherwise more or less specific to this area. The Joshua Tree isn’t in fact a tree, but a Yucca, or rather a giant member of the lilly family, and once a year it blooms great globulous white flowers. The area also has a long history and has been used by primitive people, Indians, cattlemen & rustlers (who apparently hid their illegal cattle in the area), and finally us modern folk.

Another little gem in the area is the Coachella Valley Preserve which has several Palm Oasis, plus houses the fringe-toed lizard apparently found no-where else on earth (and apparently not easy to find there either, based on our little excursion to the place).

And, then there’s the little spot you just find by accident somewhere off the highway. Some of those are our favorites, actually.

Well, that’s it for California. Next stop boooondocking in Arizona and a philosophical post on the great mysteries of the morning poo

Enjoy the shots….

Beautiful, blooming Joshua Trees

Desert Aloe in flower

Long shadows at Joshua Tree

Open dunes in open land...one of those happy sites we found by accident on the road

Massive Palms in Coachella Valley

A gorgeous desert sunset

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