So we finally got to sleep in a wigwam! We missed out on the chance in Holbrook as we tried to book the room on the same day as our arrival. No such problem this time! I knew we were going to take an “easy day” for today, so I stayed up a little late last night…maybe 1 am…to try to catch up on the blog.
Since we arrived in the late evening to the Wigwam, I took some photos this morning. Remember I said that I think I lost them? Well, I deleted them on accident. Using some special software, I was able to save them! Yay! It was already quite hot, basically 100 degrees when we got on the road around 11 am. Our destination today was Joshua Tree National Park. Weather forecast: Sunny, 108 degrees. Super. We left the wigwam and drove for about 2 hours, watching the outside temp gauge in the Mustang slowly climb. Yep, 108. We stopped into the welcome center where I got some water and paid our fee and we were off!
We entered the park on the north side as it has been said to come in from the south side you’d be driving for quite a few miles before you start to see any Joshua Trees. Yes, I said “miles.” I think the park is at least 35 miles long, when driving on the road/pathway through the park. Immediately we saw Joshua Trees. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I don’t think I have ever seen one before. Basically, they are just medium to kinda tallish (maybe 25-30 ft.) cactus with poofy, spikey tops and arms. So we saw them. Millions of them. It was kinda cool, but I think the cooler stuff in this park were all the rocks. Huge, smooth rocks just piled up everywhere.
This is a popular area for campers and rock climbers as the rocks are smooth and have cracks in them for easy hand and gear placement options. As you stand there and look at them you can see formations of familiar things, kinda like clouds. I saw a rock that looked like a moray eel popping its head out, there was another rock that was supposed to look like a skull. This Skull Rock was actually marked as a spot to visit. We parked the car, walked around the desert for about half an hour, then gave up looking for it. When we got our car back to the road, we saw a sign that said, “Skull Rock 300 ft. ahead.” Great. We got out, took some pics, split. There was one particular place that offered a stunning view of the desert valley, so we drove up this somewhat steep road and parked. The view was breathtaking, as you could see the mountains in the far off distance, as well as gradually falling away from your feet going right down to the desert floor. Also visible on the desert floor was…the San Andreas Fault. Neat! I figured we’d be in the safest place if that sucker was gonna bust loose, since we were essentially on top of a mountain. :)
We drove around for a few more hours (HOURS!) and it was all pretty much the same thing. A few other kind of cactus, more dirt, same hot weather. We decided it was time to leave and then drove for what seemed like an hour, and we finally got out of the park. Would I recommend Joshua Tree as a destination point? Hmm. Probably. I’d suggest you drive in from the north side, maybe about a mile or 3, look around, then you could turn around and leave. It’s got some interesting things to look at but you don’t need to drive around for 40 miles to see everything. It’ll still cost you $15 bucks though.
We made our way to Blythe where we stayed at the Best Western Sahara. Why do they call it the “Sahara?” Because it was 107 degrees outside at 8 pm. That’s why. The parking lot was packed with pickup trucks towing boats. For the life of me I didn’t see any lakes or oceans in the desert. Maybe they were going somewhere else. For dinner we had Mexican at the local dive. Not much else to see in this town, and it was kinda sketchy to be honest. Food was delicious, we seems to be the trend with mom n’ pop restaurants.