We got to explore today! The rain finally went away today, and the desert sucked those little puddles right up! I finally got to take the drone out for a ride and get some shots of the desert and mountains around us. As everyone slowly woke up, we all had coffee and a nice breakfast before hitting the road.
We made our way into the Joshua Tree National Park proper, and proceeded to the very back of the park–at least I think we made it to the back end. Our first stop was the Cholla Cactus Garden. We thought we were going the wrong way until we were right on top of it. Then it was VERY clear. Talk about surreal. There are cacti as far as the eye can see, and you’re on a large slope with a crater at the end. It’s nuts.
Next, we hit up the Arch Rock. I’m sure we looked hilarious trying to find the trail that took us to the actual arch, but eventually we found it! I swear, that place was like rock climbing on Easy mode. The rocks are all huge and rounded. Most of us could reach the tops of formations with minimal effort.
After that, it was off to Jumbo Rock, which was basically more giant, rounded rocks to look at and climb. Meghan had a cool spot in mind for sunset, but it was waaaay colder and windier than we’d anticipated. As we drove up to this lookout, we passed clumps of snow on the side of the road. I guess while the rest of California was getting torrential rainfall, this part of Joshua Tree was getting snow.
Well, I stayed at the top of the mountain long enough to get this shot, explore the space, and take a photo of a group of random kids next to a big rock. They were actually pretty cool kids. But, I think the cold and wind got to me, because it knocked me out for the rest of the day. I came back down the hill with a numb face and runny nose, and by dinner time I was congested and sniffly.
We did visit Pioneertown tonight, attempting to have dinner. The wait was two hours though, so we didn’t stick around. I tried to get a cool aerial shot of the town there, at the advice of a couple of wedding videographers from Salt Lake City. I made a trip up and down the main street there before an old man stormed out of his saddle shop to yell at me. Luckily, the wedding dudes had my back and talked the guy down. I hate how cranky people get about drones.
We ended up driving to a place called Crossroads for dinner, and the wait ended up being about the same. We were a hangry bunch by the time we got seated, and the food was just OK. At least we got so see some awesome sights today!
0114RollinghillsJoshuaTreeNationalParkCaliforniaJoshua TreeNational ParksProject 365USAcloudsdesertplantsrocksshrubsHoltArts Entertainment, from
365 in 2017