Not knowing a lot about this National Park, the first question I asked Gretchen on the way was "why the name Joshua Tree?" She told me, that like so much of this area, the first settlers here were Mormons. Apparently the tree made someone think of Joshua with his arms open wide in welcome, hence the name Joshua Tree. I guess when you look at the trees, you can see how that came to be.
The park is, as well as thousands of Joshua Trees, populated with huge rock formations. Actually, maybe more than the trees, but Gretchen says it would be hard to name the park "Ginormous Odd Shaped Rock Formation Park" so they settled on Joshua Tree. What a smarty she is.
We arrived at the park shortly after noon on Monday. The first order of business was for Jim to buy his National Parks Lifetime Pass. He was so proud of himself. For $10, he can be admitted to any National Park for the rest of his life.
We did two short hikes on Monday afternoon. One called Holiday Springs
a short one mile loop to see some of the topography of the park. We met this little bird who was kind enough to stick around and pose for us.
The second , one mile loop, was called Barker Dam. I really expected to see some outlaws hiding out there.
Instead, we did find some water, some ducks, and a dam.
You can see how deep the water was at one time.
At the end of those two hikes, we were ready for a rest. So off we went to the Harmony Motel. What a charming place. Gretchen and Brian decided they wanted to stay somewhere that exuded the charm of the area. They chose well. This little motel boasted that U2 were guests there. They have lots of pictures of the group in the courtyard and pool.
Gretchen and Brian relaxing outside their room.
After a really good dinner at a local restaurant, we watched Big Bang Theory and fell into bed for a good night's sleep.
Thanks for sticking around this long. Stay tuned tomorrow for Joshua Tree, Day Two.
When we got back to our room on Tuesday evening, I had
a phone call telling me that a friend of our family who
had been expecting triplet boys, lost all of the babies
over the weekend. Erin and Gretchen were the best of
friends during their pre-school days. Erin's mother and I
continue to be dear friends. If you are inclined to pray, would you
please pray for Erin and Matt in this very difficult time. This was a long
sought, much desired first pregnancy for this young couple.