Joshua Tree National Park

Have you ever seen a Joshua Tree? It’s a little crazy looking, I have to admit, and actually not even a tree at all (it’s a yucca), but absolutely National Park worthy. We loved Joshua Tree National Park. The hikes were beautiful, the weather was gorgeous, the ranger programs were stellar, and the free BLM camping at North Joshua Tree Dry Lake Bed was pretty much spectacular as well. The only complaint we had was the dusty, dry conditions; it really is proving difficult for these Georgia folks to get accustomed to the dry, dry west, but we are learning to love it (especially the no humidity conditions inside our Airstream for the first time ever).

Our favorite memory from this park was the Lost Horse Mine trail. One afternoon after work and school we set off for a short little 2 mile hike to the mine and back, but because we were occupied by the beauty of the area and excited to be on a real hiking trail over the mountains, we didn’t really pay attention as we entered. So, we hiked and hiked and hiked, and somewhere along the way we started thinking either we had become really slow hikers or we had entered the wrong side of the trail somehow. Sure enough, we finally came upon the mine and had to nearly run out of the trail to get to our truck before the sun was completely down and the gate locked. Overall, we hiked a little over 6 miles, and because of the terrain, it took us a little over 2 and 1/2 hours. While this isn’t a particularly strenuous hiking day, it was a little stressful because of the ensuing darkness. We were pretty pleased with ourselves for making it, though, especially when several people at the end of the hike and at the Visitor’s Center the next day told the boys what champs they were for doing it. I love those moments!

Joshua Tree, you haven’t seen the last of us!

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