Friday, March 6, 2009

Joshua Tree - Day Two

Day two began with a hike to the 49 Palms Oasis. This three mile hike was listed as moderately strenuous. Admittedly, I felt it was pretty strenuous while I was hiking, but once we reached the oasis and started back, I was reinvigorated and felt it was, maybe, just moderate. Whatever, my hubby and kids are really good to me and praise me for all my little accomplishments. Being the oldest of the group, I really appreciate their consideration of me. At one point during the hike I commented that I was happy that my kids took good care of me. Brian countered with, "Well, if we take such good care of you, how do you explain the broken wrist last May?" That, my friends, was ALL my own fault
I thought this was an odd little flower growing along the path.

One of the many rock formations we saw in the park.

When we arrived at the top of our first climb, which I thought was fairly gradual, this is the sight that greeted me. Everyone said, "Oh, Mom it's all downhill from here." All I saw was that if I went down there, I had to climb back up. I prayed all the way down that path that God would give me the grace and strength to make it back up. And, I was very quiet, worrying about my ability to succeed.

And then, an hour into our hike, there they were, 49 Palms. We didn't actually count them, but we are pretty sure there were at least 49 of them. It was amazing to see them all growing out in the middle of nowhere, in that dry and unforgiving desert.

We left 49 Palms and drove to the southern section of the park. Here the flora changes abruptly as we passed from the Mojave to the Sonora desert. Joshua trees were replaced with Cholla cactus and ocotillo plants.

At the Cholla Garden we walked through hundreds and hundreds of these prickly, very painful cacti. These plants are do not reproduce and are all clones.

This calico cactus is one of Brian's favorites as well as mine.

Our last hike of the day took us to another oasis of palms. This one was fairly close to the road. We did hike about a mile out from this oasis where we saw - nothing. We hiked back and rested while Gretchen and Brian continued on for another mile or so.

Although we were a little early for full desert blooms, we did manage to see a few lonely blossoms.

As you can see, we had a delightful sojourn in Joshua Tree, a wonderful trip made even better by being able to share it with our children.

Please continue to pray for our friends,
Matt and Erin as they mourn the loss
of their sons, Abel, Benjamin and Caleb.

~Hippo Hugs~


Renie Burghardt said...

Hi Pam,

Love all the pictures of Joshua Tree. What an amazing place, and you did great on that three mile hike. I don't think I could have handled that one.

Those cacti in the Cholla Garden do look a tad painful! But the desert environment is so different, and certainly an interesting experience. And it's always great to share experiences with loved ones.

I will be out sharing some clean-up around here with my one son today. There is still so much to do. And our weather has turned summer-like already. We'll be 80F today!

Happy weekend, dear friend.



PS. I will keep Matt and Erin in my prayers.

Tracy said...

Your pics are fun to look at. A lost binky! Someone was sad!

I keep thinking about Erin and her husband.

On a brighter note, I was laying in bed this morning thinking about a Friends of the Library scrapbook day in the community room as a fund raiser for summer reading. I could do some Dream Street prizes. Maybe 9:00 - 5:00, lunch included?
What do you think? In the srping, when you come home?

Midlife Mom said...

What gorgeous, gorgeous pictures of all the cacti and scenery!!!! Reminds me of when we were in Arizina and horseback riding in the desert. Had to be really careful that we didn't get the horses legs into any of the prickles. Would love to do it again sometime. So glad you can have this time with your family, it's just such fun and precious times.

Will be praying for your friends that lost the triplets. How sad that is and I know that they must be devastated. Hopefully they are believers and have their faith to sustain them through this most difficult time. How comforting to know that those three little boys are safe and happy in the arms of the heavenly Father!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm so sorry about your friends and their children. Definitely in my heart and prayers.

On a lighter note, I love your photos and am feeling homesick (though, right now, the high desert is covered in a layer of snow, heh-heh). So glad you're having a good time and sharing! =)

Dagmar said...

Hi Pam,
Great photos of your hike and the desert. Good for you to keep going, great work.
So sad about your friends and their children. Definately in my heart and prayers as well.So terribly sad that is.

Faye said...

Hi Pam,
Well, each province has their own medical plan, so it's hard for me to comment on the general status of Canadian Health Care. Here in British Columbia we have our share of beefs where waiting lists, etc. come in, but personally, I think we have it pretty darn good.
B.C. medical bases each family's monthly insurance payment on their monthly income. Seniors and low-income families pay minimal or nothing at's called Premium Assistance. Medical insurance covers children's dental, as well as optical and things like Diabetes care.
There are waiting lists for elective surgery and things like getting Homecare or Assisted Living or into a Seniors Care Home. Our experience dealing with Hubby's parents showed us that it is far easier to get help for Seniors once they have been admitted into the hospital for something. It "fast-tracks" them into the help they need.
Everyone is eligible for the BC Medical, but employers can also offer Extended Medical coverage, which usually offers say, an eye exam every year instead of every other year. Employees pay a monthly fee for that, but it's usually not much because it's a Group coverage.
The other coverage offered to every BCer is Fair Pharmacare....that is based on your Annual household income, based on your tax return and has a deductible you pay accordingly. Once the deductible is paid the rest of the pharmicudicals are free. In our case, I pay off the ductible quickly since I'm on so many prescription meds, where as my Hubby hasn't had a prescription filled for years.
The last aspect I'll mention is that I also get Ambulance trips, all x-rays, ultra-sounds, Doc visits, specialist visits, a limited number of Chiropractic, Physio-therapy, etc. covered 100%. When my son needed to go into a live-in Rehab center after his accident, that too was covered 100%....his whole team of professionals, which included pysio, speech and occupational therapy...$1,000s upon $1,000 worth, was all covered.
So, you tell me what we have to complain about.
Hope that helps jim understand our system better :)

Cheryl Wray said...

This place is just AMAZING!!! I am in awe of it. (And your photos of it are just wonderful. They really take us all there with you!)

Was so glad to see your update!

(So sad to hear about your friends and their babies. I will be praying for healing.)

Monogram Queen said...

You are definitely exposing me to the beauty of the desert - something I have never given much thought about. Isn't it wonderful all the different and new things there are on God's planet?!

Nancy said...

Your pics are wonderful!!! I admire you for all that climbing!!!

I can remember one summer when I was in grade school going to California and crossing the desert....this was before air-conditioned cars, and you could rent a thing that resembled a canister vacuum cleaner, except a tad smaller, that hung on the inside of the car window that cooled the car. It was unbearably hot durung that summer, and you can imagine what a trip it was with Grandma Jenny along! ha-ha My poor dad...he was a saint through it all!!! Anyhow, it makes one wonder how anything can even grow in that desert heat.

I enjoyed my visits today!!! I am behind again in reading blogs, as usual!

Prayers going out for the family and the babies....

((( HUGS )))