Two Days in April - Joshua Tree National Park

Two Days in April - Joshua Tree National Park

It was early April and the wildflowers were everywhere. Sometimes you had to look for them, but they gave themselves away with their bright spots of color against the unusually green desert backdrop. 

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Reflecting on Barker Dam - Joshua Tree National Park

Reflecting on Barker Dam - Joshua Tree National Park

I was looking for water, in the desert. To be more precise, I was looking for large bodies of open water, in the desert. In Joshua Tree National Park. Where the average rainfall during January is less than 1 inch. However, during January of 2017, the park received between 5 - 7 inches of rain thanks to an "atmospheric river" that unleashed powerful storms throughout the entire state.

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Desert Queen Ranch, Part 2 - Joshua Tree National Park

Desert Queen Ranch, Part 2 - Joshua Tree National Park

Put the Desert Queen Ranch, aka Keys Ranch, on your list of things to see on your next visit to Joshua Tree National Park. It's a glimpse back in time to a hardier era, and into the mind of one of the area's most notable early-day settlers, Bill Keys. The Ranch is only accessible via Ranger-guided tours, and generally only on the weekends. Check in at any of the visitor centers located at the park entrances to make a reservation. 

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Porcupine Wash - Joshua Tree National Park

Porcupine Wash - Joshua Tree National Park

A mid-day drive along an empty Pinto Basin Road, heat waves shimmering in the distance, the unforgiving desert seeming to grasp at both sides of the two-lane blacktop. It was like driving through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of sand. I was on a journey, a journey into a wondrous land. Then I saw the signpost up ahead and knew my next stop was Porcupine Wash. It was time to see the porcupine. This is what happened:

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