Saturday, March 17, 2012

29 Palms and the Joshua Tree Nat'l Park

We made it coast to coast...Florida to California!!! 

It is so fun crossing state borders.  We have a tradition with every border crossing:
We all raise our arms like we're on a roller coaster and we all shout out the same thing...this time it was

I grew up in Northern California and we're planning an extended time visiting with my family while here.  Since we're coming into California from the south, we're going to make a couple of fun stops on the way "home".

First stop is 29 Palms and the Joshua Tree National Park.
January 30th-February 1st

Have you ever been to 29 Palms?  No... maybe it's because this is the way there???
Miles and miles of this...
Are we close yet??? Nope, 52 more miles to go!
(Can you see our road off in the distance on the left side of the photo?)

Ah...home sweet home for the next 3 nights:

Twilight Dunes RV Fam Camp---no frills, more dust!
This was the first time we have stayed on a Marine installation.  We were very impressed with the men and women that serve in this branch of the US military.  Just being on the base you can feel the difference.  There is definitely not a better trained military in the world.

And we're so thankful for their service!
This was on a garage door of a house in base housing---and it says it all :)
We enjoyed a few of the base facilities during our short stay:

The number one attraction for us in Twentynine Palms:
Joshua Tree National Park

Before we headed into the park, we stopped in the visitors center for Junior Ranger books.  On the way in, God answered the kids' prayers to find a roadrunner!

We found this roadrunner right in the parking lot!  They are so interesting and quite big.
We spent some time in the visitors center working on the junior ranger badges before heading into the park.

It was lunchtime when we got into the park, so we started off with a picnic.  

Our picnic spot!

After lunch we had to decide, do we start hiking trails or climbing rocks?  

The draw of the rocks won!  A few of them had to be conquered first :)

I love the teamwork!

Hiking the Hidden Valley Trail:  this is where cattle thieves would hide their stolen herds.

Not only did we hike this trail, but climbed many of these rocks, too!
Because as DT says, "They all must be conquered!"

  A pair of sweetheart cactus. :)

DT is attacking one last challenge!  Can you see him?  He's just a speck!
He made it all the way to the top!
I'm so glad that I allowed him the opportunity to be wild at heart,
as it was very hard on this momma's heart to do that :)

We've been in the desert too long... Team Monty is getting silly!

We ended the day turning in the Junior Ranger workbooks and doing a little geocaching.

Getting quizzed by the ranger to earn their JR badges.
We really enjoyed the Joshua Tree National Park and went back the next day for more rock climbing and hiking.  There is just so much to explore that two days in the park just isn't enough.  But, it'll have to do on this trip because it's time to hit the road!

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