Skip to main content


New Website, New Blog, but the Old Blog Archive remains: September 28, 2023

After many years of wanting a real website, this month I finally have a website designed by the very knowledgeable Rey Rey Rodriguez ( TheMindOfReyRey ). My old blog,  Vacation-Travel-Adventure  continues with the same address but it is located in the "Archives" tab on my new website . The new blog which is a continuation but with much better resolution for 4K screens, it is now at .

California-Nevada Desert Road Trip, Part 2: March 2021

We picked Palm Springs because of its proximity to Joshua Tree National Park. It has lots of hotels, lots of restaurants, but it is so crowded. With reduced restaurant capacities, it was difficult to find a place to eat on short notice. But we prevailed. For our second night, I managed to get us a reservation at the fabulous Le Vallauris Restaurant within walking distance of our lodging. We ate on their patio under a grove of 40-year old trees. It was magical and delicious.

We stayed at a mid-century hotel situated around the swimming pool. This was the former Town & Desert Apartments (an historical landmark) built in 1947 now converted into short-term lodging renamed The Hideaway. Our room had comfortable mid-century decor and apparent original plumbing features (with unrestricted water flow) in the bathroom.

The swimming pool at the former Town & Desert Apartments
The bougainvillea next door
Palm Springs with its more than 100 golf courses is located at the base of San Jacinto Peak. This peak is visible from Joshua Tree National Park. The haze is partially due to water evaporation from water consumed in Palm Springs for golf courses, lawns, misted outdoor seating, etc.

View from Joshua Tree National Park of the distant San Jacinto Peak
We spent 1-1/2 days in Joshua Tree National Park. It is a high desert landscape with cooler temperatures - perfect for Joshua trees. Their need for cooler temperatures also makes them most susceptible to climate change. On our first day, one of the rangers told us where to find the presumed "oldest" Joshua tree is the park. He said it wasn't marked, but he told us how far it was from one of the turnoffs. He said it was around 40-feet tall. So it could be either of the examples shown below or he could have been putting us on. 

Joshua Trees are made of small fibers. They do not have growth rings so Dendrochronology (tree-ring dating) doesn't work for them. Joshua Trees (Yucca brevifolia) look like trees but are actually related to yucca plants. They can presumably live for hundreds of years and top out at about 49 feet.

Some of the rock formations at Joshua Tree have names. Skull Rock was a clearly obvious choice for this formation. And, some formations didn't have names but should.

Hidden Valley Trail formation
Another Hidden Valley Trail formation
Cholla Cactus Garden at Joshua Tree National Park
On our last visit to Joshua Tree National Park it was so cold we had to put on long pants, gloves, hats, and heavy jackets. 

Letting our GPS route us to our next destination we headed toward Nevada driving through Mojave Desert Preserve and briefly along Route 66. In Amboy, it was the Buddha that first caught my eye so we stopped. The Buddha holds bottles of water, some fruits, and money. No explanation--it is just there. Amboy has been a "rest stop for weary sun drenched travelers" since 1858. The working railway runs behind the Buddha statue. Amboy has a gas station, a cafe, a motel, a church, a post office.

Large Buddha on Route 66 at Amboy
Found Objects Tower Route 66 at Amboy
Roy's on Route 66 at Amboy
Continuing on our route through the Mojave, we came upon the Kelso Depot which is a national landmark operated by the Park Service. The Kelso Depot, established in 1905 gave the Union Pacific Railroad an Overland Route through the Mojave Desert connecting Salt Lake to Los Angeles. Because of Covid, nothing is open here except the bathrooms. 

The renovated Kelso Depot
1905 Post Office-abandoned
In the Mojave Desert Preserve we saw the destruction and remains of Joshua Trees burned in August 2020's Dome Wildfire. To us, it looked like some of the Joshua Trees were trying to come back. There were signs of regeneration on many of them.
An Unscathed Joshua Tree
Coming back to Life

Next stop: Overton, NV, and Valley of Fire State Park