What a strange, cool place. The absolute opposite of where I grew up, and mostly different than I had pictured it.
The most interesting part of the Park is how the plants and landscape changes as you go--we entered in the south entrance, where the cacti and rocks are short. The chollas guard the land here, with their stubby, almost translucent green arms and prickly puffballs that fall off in the wind (and get stuck in your shoes when you attempt to roam off-trail). As you travel north, winding through the curvy roads, the Joshua Trees start to burst forth, one here, two there, until you're in a forest of the park's namesake trees. Did you know that, according to legend, Joshua Trees got their name from Mormom pioneers who thought the trees' branches represented the arms of Joshua, outstretched and leading them to the Promised Land? So fascinating, I read that in this book I got for $2 at a garage sale--it's full of places we want to visit.
We're eager to travel back to this strange land, next time to stay overnight--there are so many gorgeous Airbnb's close by! That is, as soon as the Coachella madness is over. I'm too old for that circus.