Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Southwest USA Travelogue - Joshua Tree National Park

You know that feeling? Demolished? Did anybody say jet-lag? We go for the Starbucks revival experience.
At 8.30 AM we are waiting outside for the included transfer to the RV-rent-office. 8.50 AM. Nothing happens except for the arrival of a limousine. A Chinese driver, must be mafia.
"Cruise America?" he asks. (Oh sorry, nothing said). "The limousine, cause I'm late". It sounds so logic. Ready for camping with a RV, transfer by limousine. Best, why not? A nice lady shows us around in our new home for the coming weeks. An extensive video instructs what to do and how (to get rid of the sht) and what not to do (never drive backwards without somebody outside). Several forms to fill in, credit card and off we go. First to a nearby Walmart. For us everything here is big. The Walmart, the packaging, the people. Lots of things to buy. Cheese, butter, toilet paper, Californian wine for just 2$. Not bad, but after paying we are over $150 poorer anyway.

OK. And now we really go. GPS directed to a camp site in Yucca Valley, not far from Joshua Tree National Park. High ways, 6 lanes, 5 lanes, lot of concrete, condition not too good. The navigation shows the lanes we can keep in green. Handy, sometimes we get an extra lane, sometimes we lose two. The further we get from LA, the less cars on the road, the less lanes, the better the road condition. (Huh?) Every now and then we feel the wind, seems to  
be normal here. We see lots of wind mills, hundreds of them. At the camp site the office is open, nobody is there. A sign reads: "Find yourself a place, back in a moment".
Very carefully we park in backwards and we attach the water and the 110 V. Yes, we got light. When we are all settled we have to disconnect again and find our selves a nice steak.
Back at the camp site we talk to some nice people. A lot of older Americans are travelling with their own RV. These guys know Holland but what for, I don't recall. We immediately receive a book about "Earthing". Nice gesture. Still have find out what it is about. Jet-lag. At 8.30 PM it is over and out.

Breakfast at 07.00 AM and we are heading for the Joshua Tree National Park visitors center. We buy a year ticket for all national parks for $ 80, so 4 parks and we're break even.Via the west entrance we enter the park. What a wonderful landscape, full of Joshua trees. According to legend, Mormon pioneers considered the limbs of the Joshua trees to resemble the upstretched arms of Joshua, leading them to the promised land. Actually, I think they are just big Yucca's. Some rock hills
seem to be built up completely of separate stones. There are not many vehicles in the park. Halfway we take an exit to the right, notwithstanding a warning that the road is narrower. No problem for our RV. From the parking we walk to the viewpoint. What a magnificent sight. With a clear sky it must be possible to look into Mexico. We cannot look that far, but the nearby city of Palm Springs, at the opposite side of the valley and at at the foot of the mountains, is 31 kilometers away! The San Andreas Fault line runs through this valley. Because of a warning for aggressive bees we don't stay to long. 

On our way to the northern entrance of the park we pass Skull Rock.

This is our first National Park and we are already very impressed.

For my video impression look at

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