Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hoofin' it through Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree was totally otherworldly; it was what I imagined a Klingon planet to resemble. 
Did I mention that already? Well it's true. 

At each welcome center of the national or state parks we visited, I asked whichever ranger or welcome center worker about trails that might meet my criteria for the day, short and shady, mid-length with a waterfall, etc. At the Joshua Tree center, while Jimmy bought a deck of playing cards I asked the ranger, who was actually Gary Busey, to give me a hint about where to go. Instead, he lectured me about drinking water and about the intensity of the heat, in an aggressive manner. I cannot tell you how many people on this trip "emphasized" drinking more water because of the dry western air, harping again and again on the topic. I tried to wave off Gary telling him that I'm used to heat, I'm from Florida. He almost ripped out my throat and flossed with my trachea. Apparently he also drinks a ton of water. I agreed to and we left. 

Up by the welcome center, there was a small oasis which boasted a puddle of water and four tall palms. I was worried the whole place would be just as exciting, but luckily it improved. As we drove further into the park, it became more and more dense with joshua trees and more almost magical. Their leaves sort of glimmer in the sunlight, giving them a silvery look. The odd shapes the trees make add to the texture of the landscape. 
The first of a few stops was to Split Rock, which was gigantic and had a really fun slit in it where one might play. It's kind of interesting being in a rock's crevice. Sort of like you're violating the monolith.

Jimmy insisted on bounding up any climbable grouping of rocks. At one point I was convinced he wouldn't be able to get down and would fall and injure himself, so I video tapped it. He made it, so it's a dull video. 

We also played around with the natural environment. I made Jimmy place his hand in a frightening hole, possibly filled with black widows or scorpions, and he looks like he's enjoying it, right? He looks gassy. 
On one of the other trails, we were looking for an artificial water source where Mr. Busey said there'd be animals. While we were walking I saw a sign that advertised petroglyphs, so we checked them out instead. Apparently the ones not in color are the original markings. Thoughtless tourists over the years have colored in the others, affecting their authenticity.  
Jimmy claimed this is his album cover - it'll be in stores soon! 
I couldn't pick a favorite park if I tried, but Joshua Tree was definitely an adventure and a unique beauty. 

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