Joshua Tree - 2017

Still in search of wildflowers, we headed south from Death Valley to Joshua Tree National Monument. Susan had spent more time there back in the climbing days of her youth but hadn't done any hiking there. After securing a campsite for three nights in the Jumbo Rocks area - no mean fete with spring breaks going on - we were off to hike to the Desert Queen Mine, an old gold mining site off the Pine City Trailhead. As in Death Valley, most of the Joshua Tree mine sites have been safely filled in or wired off by the Park Service. Two short hikes to the site of the Wall Street Mill and the Barker Dam Loop proved interesting. There was much more water than we expected to find. The Joshua trees were in various stages of bloom but the wild flowers were just starting as we left the Mojave Desert area of the Park. Transitioning to the Sonoran Desert section to the south brought the flowers out in earnest but it was also getting pretty toasty out. Rather than sweating it out in a campground, we elected to head for home and our own wildflower extravaganza.