joshua tree.
hidden valley, cholla cactus garden, cottonwood springs.

for our first joshua tree big adventure, i dragged the kids out for a short hike in hidden valley. i think technically it was a “nature walk”, but it had some good spots to climb and explore, so we’ll call it a hike.

first photo shoot with an actual joshua tree.

they really are so weird. and cool. (and on the verge of extinction thanks to the chinese hoax of climate change).

things started off great. we were a little chilly in the shade, but that kept us moving quickly to the sunshine. the kids worked on their ranger books as we strolled along. which meant that they weren’t paying attention, which meant that one of them would slip, and become bloody, and angry, and demand to go home. but, i talked him into moving along, since we were already this far along. and pledged to get him some new grippy sneakers.

the whole place felt like another planet. or a movie set. it was all so surreal.

hiker fam.

rock scramblers.

strange other planet pic.

another joshua tree. i can’t help myself.

upon completion of our hike, we went straight back to the campsite. there really was no convincing them to go on a second adventure. it was fun, but not THAT fun.

for our next excursion into the park, this time with derek along for the ride, we decided to drive the long and boring road through the park, to the soutside, to check out cottonwood springs. on the way, we stopped at the cholla cactus garden, for a quick little stroll.

as we were walking in, ike freaked out because of this sign, and only when he realized it was more of a springtime warning did he hesitantly join us.

anna was furious, because i forgot to bring her camera.

the walk was like .25 miles, winding amongst the cactuses. they look soft and fluffy. they are not.

angry anna.

the low sun made for difficult picture taking, but excellent views.

i think the coolest part was this dead cactus “log”. the left behind structure of cactus insides was definitely interesting.

one more cholla cactus for the road.

from there, we continued on the long road to cottonwood springs. it was pretty cool, a little oasis in the middle of the desert with all sorts of growths that seem to make no sense in the dry desert.

it was all roped off, so we could only view from afar, but it looked like it would be fun to get inside all those palm trees.

the hike was like .1 miles, so once we saw this, and took a bunch of pics, we hopped back in the car for a long and boring drive home.

we were took late getting back to the more scenic areas to get any good sunset pics, but i did manage this post sunset pink sky shot. (never fear, in a future outing, i scored one million sunset pics).

so. the hidden valley hike. awesome.
cholla cactus garden. pretty cool.
cottonwood springs. definitely not worth the drive.

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