We took our second trip to Joshua Tree on Thursday. We drove straight to Keys Point from which the San Andreas Fault can be seen. The road to this lookout spot is lined with large Joshua Trees. Patrick commented that the scenery looked like something out of a Dr. Suess book and that was an apt description.
Then it was on to the Cactus Garden which is an area in the park covered by cholla cacti (pronounced choya). These cacti are also known as "jumping cholla" because the stems easily detach when brushed against and easily (and painfully) attach to the person who brushed against the plant. Both Ann and I actively interacted with these cacti and can attest to the hardiness of the needles! One stem attached to my tennis shoe, worked into the seam of the shoe and into my sock. In order to get rid of the needle I had to remove my shoe and sock, turn the sock inside out to remove the needle! Ann encountered a stem that attached itself to her toes that were housed in her walking boot. She was NOT happy!
There are campsites throughout the park and the appearance of these sites is so alien to those of us from Wisconsin. We are used to campsites being surrounded by trees, shrubs, usually near some body of water. The Joshua Tree campsites are in the open near boulders with a few scruffy, dry bushes. No privacy in these campsites! I bet the stars are breathtaking at night.