Sunday, January 19, 2014

1/19 Joshua Tree National Park to Nevada

Joshua Tree National Park is located in one of the driest parts of the United States.  The mountains and the drive in, however, are beautiful.
I even had a Joshua Tree in my Friday night's campground in Black Rock campground.  I had forgotten about MLKs birthday being a three-day weekend, so the place was packed with families and I was lucky to get a spot even for one night.

The next night I ended up in Cottonwood Campground on the far south end of the park. I had been planning on spending two nights here, but this morning discovered my vehicle battery was acting up again and was dead.  Something seems to be pulling power when I am camping without an electric hookup.  Normally, my coach battery should power everything, not the vehicle battery.  I tried my emergency start that works with the generator, but even that took 20 minutes of generator power to get it working.  Need to get it checked since it is still under warranty.

Last time I was here, I had missed walking through the cholla garden.  These plants are sometimes called jumping cholla because the pods stick to your clothing if you brush past them.  Animals cover them great distance and start new "gardens."

Here is a close-up of one plant.  They are also sometimes called "teddy bear" cholla because they look so fuzzy and cuddly.  Cuddling them, however, is NOT recommended!

This one is a cholla but is a pencil cholla because the stems are so thin.  They have equally prickly thorns, however, so no hugging this one either.

And finally, a Joshua tree!

Because I did not want to press my luck with my vehicle battery, I headed east and north to Nevada and Lake Havasu where I knew there were lots of campgrounds with electric hookups.  More really dry desert, this one with salt pans.  I could not get a picture because there was no place to stop or pull over, but someone had pushed up great rows of dirt to collect water and produce salt.  I have no idea where they get the water, but apparently at least in the past someone had been trying to produce salt.

Shoulders of the roads were very soft sand, so no pulling over with my heavy vehicle.  There was not even cell service here if I had needed to call road service, and no gas stations from Twenty-Nine Palms for 90 miles northeast along this road!!  There were occasional cars, however.

The different minerals in these mountains apparently cause these different colors.  Not sure what minerals these were, but I thought this was interesting. 

And another very long and very straight road.

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