No trip of ours to SoCal will be complete without a stop at Joshua Tree National Park. And a quick stop at the dinosaurs on I10. They’re huge. Just one of those roadside attractions you’ve got to check out because they’re too cool to zip past. They’re free to see and you can even climb inside 1 of them (just a dusty ol gift shop inside). I believe there was a museum with a fee.
Joshua Tree NP is fairly close to L.A. but seems a million miles away. The cityscape disappears in your review mirrors and the ground fills with shrubbery, cacti and wide open spaces. You drive amongst mountains, meandering small roads, tiny towns. And then the boulders. And oh wait! What are those weird looking plants? Are they a tree? Are they a cactus? What the hell are they?! I feel like I’m in a Dr. Seuss book. The Joshua Tree.
Did you know that the Joshua Tree needs to have a winter freeze before they’ll bloom? And that a special moth is needed for pollination. No other insect or bird will transfer the pollen: only this 1 type of moth. I mean…what a special bond! You didn’t know that? Well now you do 😉
Jeff was once stationed at the Marine Corps Base at 29 Palms; right outside the entrance to J-Tree (that’s what locals and cool people call it I guess. ahem). J-Tree….Jeff’s mecca. This is where he learned to climb. This is where he hung any chance he got. And anytime he talks of 29 Palms, even though many have described the area as unsavory, Jeff gets a little twinkly in his eye and looks all dreamy. He became an adult in this place. He went through some tough times in this place. He loves this place. And he finally got to bring the kiddos there!
We arrived at the park sometime in the afternoon. As we always do, we stopped at the visitor center to get the kids their Junior Ranger books. Then we headed out to find some bouldering spots. We ended up at Gunsmoke. The weather was nice. It was uncrowded and we had the majority of the place to ourselves. Jeff donned the crashpad and off we went to do some climbing.
The kids played in the dirt, worked on their books and did a little bouldering. Jeff was on the wall the whole time. And I relished in the quiet and watched him help them. What a sweet moment for the 3 of them!
I don’t think our big RV will fit in the campgrounds there, but we’ll have to go back and stay for a couple days and I’ll have to get some shoes so I can join them on the wall;)