Campbell's 2017 Western Trip travel blog

View of Joshua Tree National Park

View of Joshua Tree

Tree info

Rocks with flowers

Another park view

Flowers in desert

Small Joshua Tree

Yet another desert view

View from mountain looking down on San Andreas Fault

Closer view of fault

October 22 – Travel to Joshua Tree National Park and Camping on the San Andreas Fault

We drove an hour to one of the Joshua Tree Visitor’s Center and then spent an hour driving the park loop to view the Joshua Trees and vistas. At the center, the docent shared information about the Joshua Tree and that we should take a side drive in the park to the vista where we could view the San Andreas Fault from above. She showed me on the park map where the fault line was located south of the park. It so happens that from the vista we were looking down on the valley in which we were camped and we are camped exactly on the fault – no shakes to date.

About the Joshua Tree history, growing in the Mojave Desert above 3,000’, it requires freezing temperatures in the winter and very hot temperatures in the summer and a certain amount of rain. Per the docent, an the past, some 10,000 years ago, the sloth contributed to the distribution of the Joshua Tree seeds that it apparently ate and then discharged at some distance later. Since the demise of the sloth, only a Yucca Moth is assisting in Joshua Tree propagation and is the only insect that can pollinate the Joshua Tree’s flowers.

“(The) name "Joshua tree" was coined by group of Mormons in the 19th century. They associated erect branches of tree with hands of Prophet Joshua who was pointing toward the sky, indicating direction of Promised Land.” From first website below.

The Joshua Tree is not really a tree but instead a evergreen species of yucca. The leaves are spiny and waxy and the plant can grow up to 40’ in height at about 1.5” per year. The trunk consists of thousands of fibers without growth rings.

In case you need more Joshua Tree facts, here are some informative websites:

I noticed that neither article mentioned the importance of the sloth’s seed dispersal technique so take the docent’s words with caution. : )

We are almost alone in this huge campground and are camped under the only tree in the 90+F temperature.

Tomorrow, it will be 100F here but we are heading north to Death Valley early tomorrow morning where by chance it will also be 100F. We are camping in the park at Furnace Creek at a campsite with 110 volt outlet to keep us somewhat cool.

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