Of course, I can't download my photos, forgot to bring whatever its called.
There is no question where Joshua Tree got it's name, Joshua trees are everywhere, as are the tumbled rock formations climbers drool over. Friday was a holiday and I promised myself early rise and a trip up to Hidden Valley. Well my "rise" wasn't as early as it should have been and the need for a petrol stop, the sun was way to high for me to tackle Hidden Valley. ( A comfortable chair in the shade is about all I'm up to these days.)
I did do some of the Valley, I climbed up and through the narrow entrance and did about a quarter of the loop but it became very obvious the sun was more than I could tolerate.
The Valley has ghosts you know. Well at least I saw and heard them. Ghosts of old B Cowboy movies where the outlaws always hide away from the law in "hidden valleys", when rustlers hid their booty to change brands and when eventually the good guys in white hats come and saved the day. Actually there is a legend that this valley was used for just those pursuits but since the only way in and out is also said to have been blasted open by one of the ranchers, history doesn't always mesh.
The loop trail has storyboards, telling of the flora and fauna. For instance, the Pinyon Pine: while I used its canopy for some cooling shade, I read that the Native Americans used the seed for protein and the thick sap for glue and tar.
My JT bird list has grown. I saw a huge Redtail Hawk sitting atop some plant. Of course I was driving down the road with a car behind me so stopping to look wasn't going to happen. Later that morning, while enjoying my snack of bing cherrys, a Jay (I'm thinking Scrub Jay as that was my first thought "your a scrubby lookin fellow",) came and stole one of the cherrys from about a foot away. Reading about Scrub Jay's it said the Pacific cousin is very bold, but by the picture, the little thief looked a lot more like the Interior cousin. ( I left another cherry out to see if I could get him to return, but all that attacted was ants and yellow jackets, and then I remembered, we are asked not to feed the wildlife. Stolen fruit is one thing, but....)
I took lots of pictures. Going to run to the PX and see if they are open.