Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Joshua Tree National Park: Cholla cacti, Cottonwood Spring oasis, and dinosaurs at the drive-thru

March 14 was our last day at the park.  We drove south as we planned to head back to LA along a different route.

These are Cholla cacti.  We would have liked to get out and look at them here at the "Cholla cactus garden", but there was roadwork going on and we couldn't stop.  I got this slightly blurry photo from the car though, they are something to see, backlit by the sun:

Our destination was the Cottonwood Springs trail.  What do you know, there were Chollas there too:

An entrance to an old mine shaft along the trail:

I don't know what these are called but they are very surreal looking plants:

This is the oasis at Cottonwood Spring, it's a bigger and lusher one than the one we saw yesterday:

Here are some other tourists heading towards it, for scale:

Cottonwood trees also grow along the spring downstream from the oasis.  It was March so they were just coming into leaf:

Some fan palms at the base of the oasis palms:

These palms are tall, and shaggy, having never been pruned the way the urban ones usually are:

So that was it for Joshua Tree park!  Didn't take long to get back to the outskirts of Los Angeles.  And of course, in Los Angeles, anything is possible, including dinosaurs at the Burger King drive-thru:

That was the last park we visited in 2013.  I'm itching to visit another, maybe this spring.

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