|Joshua Tree National Park, California|
On our way back home from Baja, we spent a couple nights visiting with good friends who'd recently moved from Oregon to California. It was special to get to visit them in their new home, let the kids run wild, cook together, and catch up. Joshua Tree National Park was practically in their back yard, so she suggested we make a day trip of it. Having lived in California's high desert for four years when I was a teenager, I was pretty certain that it would take more than a few Joshua Trees to impress me, but I was happy to go and check it out. I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the area, its wild rock formations, the brilliant blue skies, and yes, even the Joshua Trees. (There's a nice, online, kids' storybook about a Joshua Tree here. We read it on our way up to the park and it helped me appreciate what I was seeing.)
(This post is way out of order chronologically, but I wanted to try to keep things more current while we're in Panama. We are settled into a nice little apartment in a lovely mountain town, which we plan to use as a base for exploring during the rest of our time in the country. One of the kids has had a fever the last few days and another has been throwing up, so we're laying low at the moment. I'm enjoying having a kitchen again, and the kids are having fun exploring the garden and making friends with the resident sloth.)
|Amazing rock formations abound in the park. I know there's a scientific explanation for how they were formed, but even after reading it, I had to marvel that this could happen!|
|The clouds cast shadows, making the landscape look even more dramatic. |
Here's an interesting little tidbit from Wikipedia:
"The name Joshua tree was given by a group of Mormon settlers who crossed the Mojave Desert in the mid-19th century. The tree's unique shape reminded them of a Biblical story in which Joshua reaches his hands up to the sky in prayer."