Day 29 . Joshua Tree National Park

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Road trip across America… daily reflections by Ema and Elle.

By Ema ~ I awoke once again in pain due to my arm. I took my pillow and blanket up to my seat and attempted to sleep there for a few hours, but just gave myself a kinked neck in the process. It was getting very hot where we were parked so I moved us to a spot under a tree and waited for Elle to awake. Once she was up I went to the restrooms to get cleaned up for the day. I returned to her having melted Junior Mints for breakfast.

She needed to hug a few of the palm trees before we journeyed on, so she did. I do so love my little nature girl.

We made our way across the desert and found a cool totem along the way. We added my business card and took a few photos. It was so hot we could not stay still too long.

Onward we went to Joshua Tree, California and got our camping arranged. They do not have laundry facilities so we went back into town and got our chores done. While we waited for the laundry we explored a thrift store where Elle and I were was gifted books and stuffed animals from the owner. I purchased a necklace too that Elle found for me, as after him gifting all for us I felt I must buy something.

After laundry was done we went to the Joshua Tree Visitor. Elle and I got our Junior Ranger books and learned about the park and history of Joshua Tree. Did you know once upon a time there were Camelops and giant sloths that lived this area.

We then headed into the park. Did you know that 1/4 of all the plant life here is unique to just this area.

I love this place. It makes me feel as if I stepped into a Dr. Seuss book.

Elle climbed boulders each place we stopped.

As she climbed the boulders at one spot, I sat upon them like a lizard taking in the atmosphere. It was actually part of the Junior Ranger assignment. I saw lizards scurry by and a jackrabbit who came to visit. He sat and starred at me. There were lots of large birds flying overhead too, riding the warm winds upward into the sky.

Elle found some crystals, as she has the luck of doing, and I found a unique seed pod that I thought looked like a bird. Of course being a National Park, we only took pictures and left them behind.

We stopped for a hike a bit before sunset to go explore the Ryan ranch, a brick adobe home from 1868 that is made from ground local stones that contain gold, so it was known as the golden brick house. There was lots of vandalism carved into the walls which was really unfortunate to see. Why do people feel the need to carve their names into things. There have got to be better ways to leave a mark on this world. While I was filming my blog I suddenly felt a poke that would not stop, only to look down and see a wasp attached to the heel of my right foot. I have always had peace with flying creatures of their sort, but this was the second time on my trip now. The last time I could barely walk within minutes, so I found a rock and called out to Elle only to find she had disappeared up another mountain. I beckoned her back as I was concerned that I would not be able to walk the half mile trail back soon. The sun was setting for our return hike and bats came out to feed. I had never seen so many at once, and I must say they were simply adorable. It seemed this was the perfect time to visit the park, as we barely saw other humans. I suppose the 108 to 115 temps would probably scare most away, but for us it was perfect and the peace and quiet was a well welcomed moment. I may have ended up naked a moment standing like a tree upon the horizon at sunset with bats filling the sky with their evening dance.

Thankfully my sting did not have a reaction like the last and we made our way back to the van just at dark. As I drove out of the park the moon was full and huge, slowing coming up over the horizon and making the mountains glow in the night. 

By Elle ~ Today I woke up very sweaty and sissy was still sound asleep. We were about an hour away from Joshua tree, so when we were awake we got ready and headed off down to Joshua tree. We jammed till we got there. Once there we found a camp site and booked for the night and asked if there was a laundry mat near by. The lady said there was one just down the street so we went there as we had 2 big bags of laundry that needed to be done asap. The town was really cute with a lot of natural cafes and thrift stores by the laundry mat. We started laundry. It said it would take about 30 mins for it to wash, so we headed out to the car and got out the goats cheese and crackers and ate for a while. Then went back into the laundry mat to put the clothes in the dryer and off to the thrift store that the old lady had told us about. I was really excited I haven’t been to the thrift store in months it feels. We went inside and there was a cool dress hanging up along with a weird hat that was very blue. I was soon drawn to the kids isle. We saw many boxes of stuffed animals and a lot of other odd things like one roller skate all by itself. I looked around and then started looking through the three buckets of the stuffed animals. I found some cute ones, but after some time the selection of only a few, with the help of sissy, I limited down to one stuffed animal and some miniatures. Sissy told me to go ask the prices of stuffed animals and the prices of books. After a distressing moment I finally went over. She said $.25 for the stuffed and a dollar for big stuffed animals but if it was for me I was allowed to pick one free stuff animal. I don’t remember what she said about books, I missed her at first, but after asking a few times I finally found out what the price was. I also got a free bag of books as this nice man said I could have because he was tired of seeing children on their phones. I chose a bunch of books, including a cool world Atlas book to look at, The Titanic, and a couple for my brothers. I chose a Sentsy pig and named her Rosemary. By this time our laundry should’ve been done so we paid and headed off to the laundry mat to collect our clothing. I wanted to wash Rosemary, but Sissy said we were not going to spend another hour to wash a pig, no I’m sorry, not to wash one stuffed animal. Then we headed off to Joshua Tree National Park to get my Junior Ranger book. The park was amazing. The trees were really contorted, but I thought they looked really cool. I was kind of upset because I didn’t want to leave California. Sissy noticed and told me I couldn’t worry about something that was miles away. I agreed and thought about other things. We went through this little picture thing and started our junior ranger books. We learned about how those piles of rocks were created and much more. Did you know the turtles are going extinct? Well tortoises, not turtles. I wanted a turtle or tortoise and mom wouldn’t let me. I was going to name him Marvin and get him a cute little pair of glasses, but no I was not allowed to get a tortoise. Now that I know they’re going extinct I am really very angered. Through Joshua tree we saw many sites. I really enjoyed all there was. I especially liked the rock life. At first I was scared because I was worried the tarantula was going to jump out at me, but I decided that I was going to journey on and not let something so small hold me back, but during this process I stepped on a cactus thorn, four times. Right after each other. It was not fun or pleasant, but even after this I still didn’t want to put on my shoes. Reluctantly I did, and on my way up the pile I went. After climbing for awhile and spotting rabbits, lizards, and many many many many many ants we had to go as the sun will soon be setting and we still had more than half of the park that we needed to explore, so on the road once more we were. We found a hike that was only a mile away and had some graves, a ranch, and a well. We decided to hike. We hiked up and I started climbing, but all of a sudden I heard we need to go back to the car now. This really worried me so I rushed down the mountain fast as I could. When down she had told me that she had gotten stung, so we started heading back back. There was no one around and Sissy had mentioned that this would’ve been a perfect place for nude photos. Of course she was wearing something very baggy that was falling off, so all of a sudden she gives me this look and down goes her dress and she gets naked. I was really scared we were going to get caught because she was just standing there naked. She told me take some pictures because there was a sunset and she was silhouetted and she thought it was cool, so I took some photos as fast as I could and made her put her clothes back on. Once we got back to the car we started driving more and went to camp. We did our Junior Ranger books and went to bed. Good night.

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