Friday, December 14, 2018

Revisiting Joshua Tree National Park

Once again we arrived at the BLM area south of the Cottonwood entrance to Joshua Tree NP. Our plan was to find a campsite in the park, but being retirees, we forgot to check to see if it was the weekend! As it happened, we not only arrived on a Friday, but on a Friday beginning a 3 day weekend! There was no room at the park. After talking to the rangers, who informed us that the area was hit with flash floods in October (remnants of Pacific hurricane), we headed south hoping to find space at the BLM area. The rangers told us the northern BLM was washed out and in need of maintenance, but the south had fared a bit better. They also warned us that Cottonwood Springs Road had one lane washed out just south of the Cottonwood Visitor Center. So, we made our way to the south entrance to the park and found the BLM area had sustained some water damage also. We were able to find a spot that was not too difficult to get into---just beyond us, the road was partially washed out.
 Saturday morning we decided to hike Porcupine Wash. The parking area for Palm Oasis hike was washed away in the flash flood! As we hiked Porcupine Wash, we saw evidence of the flood in the wash. These cacti were healthy and nestled in rocks above the wash.

 The rock formations were interesting. This rock has other rock running through it.
 When it eroded, many years from now, it will resemble this rock.
We hiked about 3 miles out the wash before stopping for a picnic lunch, then we retraced our steps to return to the car.
Then it was time to head back to Sol for an afternoon of relaxation.
It was Veteran's Day, so we decided to go to La Quinta to visit the brewery. What a surprise, veterans received a free beer in thanks for their service! Bob and I enjoyed our beers--me a porter, he IPAs. The bartender gave me a sample of a seasonal beer that was excellent--Chai Solstice! It tasted like chai tea! It would be a great  cold weather beer, but since it wasn't cold, I stuck with my porter.
On the way back to Sol, traffic was stopped so a semi could be removed from the median. When we drove into town,we saw where the semi had gone off the road and we thought it would be gone when we got, traffic was backed up for miles!

When we arrived at Sol, the wind had quieted a bit, but unfortunately, it was not to remain quiet! The next day we drove to Coachella and then back to Indio to do some shopping. We decided to see how bad Box Canyon Road was after the flash floods. Let's just say it was no longer there! We were able to drive to the canyon, but after that the road was GONE!
Bob and I continued on  through the canyon, noticing the changes since we last drove through several years ago. There were areas of trees then, but now there are only on or two trees left in the canyon! The next two pictures show the remnants of the paved road. We were driving on a single lane dirt road.
We made it to Mecca and then to Coachella to Sam's Club. From there we drove back to Indio for Wal-Mart and Winco. After making a quick stop at Fantasy Springs Casino, we decided we would bring Sol for some fun on Tuesday!

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