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Day 10:  Joshua Tree Park

This is a striking and somewhat surreal place - quite different from all the terrain we'd covered since starting out 10 days ago.

A relatively easy run southward on I-15 to Mountain Pass, then further southward into the Mojave Desert area to Cima, Kelso and crossing the I-40 to reach Amboy.  Making for Twentynine Palms, you can just make out military vehicles on the Marine Corps base to the west. 

We entered the park at the town of Joshua Tree and wandered past Hidden Valley, Jumbo Rocks and Skull Rock before turning south towards the Cholla Cactus Garden and Cottonwood.

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Some views of the weird, smoothed-off rock formations in the upper desert area of the park:

Weird rocks     Trees and rocks     Through the boulders     More weird rocks

Evening cloudscape

 

 

And of course the trees which give the park its name.  Also to be seen on the cover of the U2 album of the same name.

Where's Wally     Where's Bono

 

Cholla Cactuses look almost cute...but are called "jumping cactus" because if brushed against, it appears as if they "jump" and attach themselves to skin or clothing.  Not much fun picking them off from the former, apparently...

Chollas - Eagle Mountains     Chollas - Coxcomb Mountains     Cholla closeup

Originally, we expected to spend a night somewhere in or just south of the Joshua Tree Park.  But the roads were quiet, and the park proved smaller than we anticipated, so we cracked on for San Diego.  Apart from getting lost around Palm Springs whilst trying to find the backroad we'd chosen, and finishing the trip in the dark, it all went pretty much according to plan! 

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