Saturday, August 23

Looking back

on our vacation, I left off with a post about the cholla garden, one of our favorite places at Joshua Tree National Park. From there, we continued south to the Cottonwood Spring Oasis. The terrain really changes along the way because the southern part of the park is Colorado Desert. There are not any Joshua trees down that way.

Cottonwood Springs is the starting point for a couple of hikes, we chose to do the Mastodon Peak hike. It's only three miles and we figured that was enough in the heat. (We were right!) Just down from the parking lot, there is an oasis of palm trees.

And then we hit desert.

Although it was the only area that we saw any green and in bloom ocotillo.

We also saw a lot of lizards.

It was a good hike despite the heat. It was nearing 100 degrees as we headed out. And there wasn't exactly any shade where we were.

As we headed up toward the peak, there were more and more rock formations.

Lots of yucca too. The yellow flowers looked so lovely against the blue, blue sky.

On the flip side of the hike, we walked through a lot of sandy arroyos.

I kept thinking about the flash floods that must happen when it rains. Wouldn't want to be walking out there when the rain clouds roll in.

We were dead tired after our short hike in the hot sun. And it wasn't even noon yet! Nonetheless, we stopped at the ocotillo patch on our way out of the park. It was really scorching hot at that point and so of course I had to lug out the tripod and take some shots with the self-timers.

I'm lucky that I have a patient husband who is very tolerant when it comes to my need to take pictures. Because it was hot.

The ocotillo have some pretty serious stocks.

No green to be found in this patch though. I guess it hadn't rained for some time.

I bought this little guy at the Farmers Market,

because it reminds me of the ocotillo and our lovely vacation. (Even though the guy I bought it from told me that it is a Madagascar ocotillo and not related to the ocotillo found in the southwest.)

We were done with the park at that point. Headed back to the motel and spent some time hanging out at the pool. Good times.

That evening, with some apprehension, we ate at The Rib Co.

Apprehension because it was so hot, a heavy meal of ribs just did not sound all that appealing. But Twentynine Palms doesn't have a lot of restaurant choices and we didn't feel like eating Mexican food again. As it turned out, The Rib Co. was awesome. They had a "lighter side" menu which was perfect for us. It meant we got to try the ribs but didn't get a plate of twice as much food as we needed. The lighter side was the perfect amount of food. And the ribs were excellent. We were happy.

After dinner, we went back to the motel and chilled. I took a bunch more photos, we read our books and called it a night. The next day, we were ready to continue our westward journey to San Diego.

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