We chose Palm Springs, CA from which to visit Joshua Tree National Park, some 50 miles away. From palm trees, dynamic skies and lush water filled landscapes in the desert of resorts, the Mojave Desert landscape of Joshua Tree National Park offered cactus larger than men, gigantic boulder formations which hid cattle rustlers of the past, and the strange Joshua trees, which aren’t really trees, but a species of yucca which can grow over 40 feet tall. The Park has been a protected area since 1936 and looked starkly beautiful on an overcast December day; I’m certain it’s an entirely different experience in the blistering heat of summer.
Driving southwest from the desert to San Diego on long switch back roads led us through other alien lands and varied weather, from palm trees mixed with snow-capped mountains, to sun filled valleys nestled in vast barren rocky plains. It was a good adventure, secondary only to the primary purpose we had for being there at all: a visit with family from whom separated much too long.