Monday 6 June 2011

Day 66: Forty-nine Palms Oasis in Joshua Tree

As soon as you drive into the National Park you get fabulously maintained roads running through pristine wilderness.  From the top of the ridge we climbed over today, we could look out of the park into the settled valley.

On the other side of the ridge, it's easy to spot the oasis against the backdrop of desert.  The plant life in this part of the desert couldn't be more different than it was in Hidden Valley.

It was pleasant to hang out at the oasis.  Antonia wrote an essay in her junior ranger book that turned out almost like a poem, and I took a family portrait.

Antonia's desert:

Pretend you are a lizard sitting on a rock.
What do you see?
I see lots of palm trees with burned black trunks,
I see mountains with lots of different shaped rocks on them,
I see a valley between two mountains.
What do you hear?
I hear bees and flies buzzing around,
I hear birds chirping and squawking,
I hear the faint wind blow through the palm leaves.
What do you feel?
I feel the jagged rock I'm sitting on,
I feel a cool breeze that is blowing my hair,
I feel flies bump into me.

On our way out, we ran into a military man bushwhacking through the park with a rottweiler who's "only agressive when people try to pick fights with me" (!)  So, we learned that the military being trained out here would rather be somewhere else, that even though he thinks he has a good attitude to the place, he can't imagine why we would be here voluntarily, and that the US military don't look kindly on people with any kind of contact with other countries or people in other countries (but we knew that already).

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