Monday, October 19, 2009

My World Tuesday

This is a predated post as I prepare for our vacation. We will be gone for almost two weeks, flying into Seattle, Washington, catching the ferry up to British Columbia (hoping to visit the city of Vancouver) and then plan to drive down as far south as Monterey and Carmel in California. It will be fun to visit as we used to live there in the early 80's.

This road trip took us to Joshua Tree National Park a couple of years ago. It is where I reinforced my belief that the desert is a fascinating place to visit, to live. Each time I have been fortunate enough to encounter a desert, I have loved it. So different to the area we live in, so much to see and discover.

The red dot shows its approximate location in the State of California.

When we went into the visitors' center we saw a large picture on the wall showing what we might find, from fauna to wildlife.

It's very dry out there as you might imagine and for east-coasters we were pretty much prepared for the climate, except for two things. We had plenty of bottles of water in an ice-chest and sunscreen and a hat with a brim, but a good lip balm/moisturizer would have been beneficial. I forgot about that. I couldn't believe how fast my lips became dry and cracked. Gregg didn't have as much trouble but I was always feeling parched. After this particular day we headed for the first drug store we came across and added lip balm to our supplies.

If you read this sign it will give you a clue as to the second thing I should have been prepared for, for a very important area that I needed to safe guard.....

my feet ..... I should not have worn flip flops..... I should have worn the type of shoes someone might wear on a construction site, the kind with steel caps in the toes. Maybe a sturdy pair of walking boots or at least a pair of sneakers. That would have been much better. Most definitely I should NOT have worn flip flops!

Along the marked-out path you find thousands of fallen needles. Maybe a slight exaggeration, maybe not thousands but there were enough of them along the way to stick into exposed toes, namely mine. By the time we came to the end of the path it felt like a thousand.....tiny, sharp, nasty little needles. My toes were telling me they had had a run in with a porcupine. When we go to the desert again and find ourselves around this kind of cactus garden, I will make sure my feet are safely covered with thick canvas. That way I won't be massaging my sore tootsies when I finally get back to the car. Extraordinary how simple life lessons are learned on these trips.

Gregg wearing good, sturdy sneakers. He is such a smart man.

French children complaining to father that he should have told them not to wear flip flops. No I don't speak French but I can use my imagination.

Cactus with thousands ..... no ...... trillions ...... of toe-piercing needles.

But I'm smiling because all joking aside I am having a great time seeing the kind of things I don't get to see in Virginia.

I see lizards in the summer back home - occasionally - but they're very different from this little fellow.

My first wildlife in the desert. I take many photos of him.

I think this is the only 'bloom' that I saw. It would be lovely to go back in the Springtime when everywhere is ablaze with desert flowers.

These are called Teddy-bear cholla (Cylindropuntia bigelovii) and we are at the Cholla Cactus Garden.

You also have to be careful not to brush exposed arms up against those needles as these teddy bears can be quite tall. There are several that stick out over the path. I can understand why pets are not allowed, not that you would want to bring them out in this heat. My tongue was practically hanging out, think of the poor dogs.......and this Cholla needs to be protected too.

Yes me again!

This is a Joshua Tree and it was huge.

This is our way out. The town in the valley is Twenty-Nine Palms.

My thanks to the team for hosting another great meme. You can see other ‘My World’ photos or join in and share your own by clicking right here.


  1. Love travel blogs Hope to see many pictures of Vancouver and Seattle. Hope you make it to Pikes Market

  2. Thanks for the tour of Joshua Tree Nat'l Park. It is all new for me, I like the lizzards and the cactus flowers are pretty. How hot did it get there?
    Thanks for the tour.

  3. I would love to visit the desert sometime. Your blog post made me even more certain that is something I want to do. Enjoy your vacation!

  4. great shots of joshua tree denise. it's a fab place to visit and photograph. hope you enjoy the pacific northwest. it's a favorite spot of mine.

    hugs and safe travels.

  5. Great tour of the Joshua Tree Nat'l Park! Brought back lovely memories! Terrific photos! Have a wonderful vacation!


  6. Love this post! I hope you have a wonderful vacation here. I haven't been to JTNP in nearly 20 years. It is nice to see the pictures. Thanks Denise.

  7. Looks like a great trip. The desert has lots to look at if you know where to go.

  8. Thanks Denise that was a great tour. the Joshua Tree is amazing.
    Sunny :)

  9. This is such a terrific post. I LOVE all the photos. I'd love to go there sometime. I'll have to mention it to my "tour director" hubby so he can plan it for us someday.

  10. I am in total agreement about the desert. Living in Georgia is very different. I have always loved going out west. Mind you it has been in a car not traveling like the pioneers did long ago. Lip balm in several places, pocket, purse, etc. You can never have too much. Did you go to Death Valley? Looking forward to your trip and pics.

  11. Wonderful post! I love to read about people's travels. Be sure to visit Portland, OR on your road trip down the West Coast. We lived there a few years back and it's a lovely region of the US.

  12. Slightly different than where you're visiting! I've never been here and want to go. I hope you get to Victoria. I love it!

  13. You show some great stuff here at Joshua Tree...makes me want to go there. Have a great time in Seattle and the coast! Seattle is great and driving down the coast is awesome. Oregon is very beautiful along the coast. Some great places between Seattle and Vancouver, too. You need more than 2 weeks to see all the great stuff out there.

  14. I enjoyed going along on your travel and also I liked the pictures very much. That would be some place to visit, thanks for sharing and it looks like you are having fun.

  15. Thanks for showing me around the Joshua Tree NP and I didn't get any needles pierce my toes.Great shots of the cacti and lizards.

  16. The only kind of desert trips I've made are vicarious. Ouch. Sorry about the parched lips and pricked toes. Enjoy the rest of your time away.

  17. i first heard of joshua tree in a song by U2, i never now such a tree actually exist in real life, glad you shared this for i gained new knowledge. great shots too. have a happy vacation.

  18. I lived in Arizona for many years. You should have called me and I would have told you not to wear flip flops! *giggles* Ouch! How painful for you.

    The Blue Ridge Gal