Marty, Heidy, Dorothy and I went driving and hiking in Joshua Tree National Park. The Joshua tree can only grow at certain altitudes in the high desert. It is one of the most unusual trees I have ever seen; it’s a bit like cactus, a bit like a tree, altogether unusual. When we entered the National Park office to get our pass, one of the park wardens told us about the different environments present in the park. The park extends from the high desert to the Coachella Valley, about 600m or 2000 ft of altitude. During the drive we did see these different environments. First was the Joshua tree and then as we drove down to the valley the Joshua stopped and gave way to cholla cactus. There are so many cholla that the area is called the Cholla Garden. Then finally as we made it back to the valley floor the desert scrub came into view.
An interesting drive where in several hours you can experience several different ecosystems.
The Grand Canyon unlike a mountain range or other large geological feature can’t be seen from a distance. As you drive up to the Grand Canyon there is nothing to alert you to the size and immensity of what you are about to see. According to the US National Park Service the canyon is up to 29 km (18 miles) wide and up 1.6 km (1 mile) deep. You can walk right up to edge and look down to see what seems to be a tiny stream, which is actually the mighty Colorado River. The view, the colours and size is simply breathtaking.