Our plans got a little derailed at this point in the trip. We had been camping for over a week (counting the tent cabins in Yosemite) and planned to pamper ourselves by staying in a hotel in Palm Springs. It’s off season so rooms were really reasonable. We thought we’d break camp in Visalia the morning after visiting Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, cruise to Joshua Tree and visit it, spend the evening in a hotel and get up early the next day to head to Death Valley. Just as we were about to make the turn to Joshua Tree, the warning system on my car said we needed to add oil and service the car as soon as possible. We bypassed Joshua Tree and hightailed it to the BMW dealer in Palm Springs. Bless their hearts – we arrived at 3:30 on the Friday of the three day July 4th weekend and they serviced the car on the spot even though they’d already sent half their technicians home. We were so lucky! We could’ve been stuck there till the following Tuesday waiting for them to re-open. Of course, when we checked into our hotel and saw this from the balcony of our room, we thought it might be okay to be stuck for a few days.
Because of the great customer service at the BMW dealer, we were able to hit the road again the next day and make the Joshua Tree stop. Joshua Tree, as with Sequoia, is set aside primarily to protect and educate about a particular tree. The Joshua Tree is unique to this area and the vistas are enhanced by the boulder fields. This particular boulder is known as Skull Rock.
This trip has really made me appreciate how a few hundred miles and/or a few hundred or thousand feet elevation can result in a totally different landscape. I think that’s why I like road trips so much.
Oh, did I mention that it’s hot here? Nothing like being blunt – “don’t die today”!