On Saturday afternoon after we visited the London Bridge we decided to keep driving, but where were we going to stay. We got on the internet and got out our membership books. We called a couple places, but they were either full or too expensive. We came to the conclusion we would see if we could get in to the nearest Thousand Trails which was about five hours away. Well Palm Spring Thousand Trails (which we had checked on before, but was full) did have a site available for two nights so off we headed. We got to drive through hills and desert and we saw all the campers as we drove through Quartzite. Not sure that is really the place for us. Well we pulled into Palm Springs after dark. We had never parked in the dark before. The lady at the check in pointed us toward the last two sites available in this 450 or so site park and said “What were you thinking of coming to this park after dark in that rig?” in her nicest somewhat joking voice. What were we thinking of? This campground was beautiful with all of it’s palms, but the spaces were exceptionally tight and there were campers wedged in everywhere. Well we found a spot that we thought would work. We used flashlights to mark the boundaries and the palm tree. And Marc did a great job wedging us in the spot in the dark. This campground was full of snowbirds (now I know what everyone in Florida is talking about.) The club house which was right behind us was beautiful and had a youth room with a small children’s library.
That’s our camper all the way at the back.
We decided to drive to Joshua Tree National Park. As we drove to the park it seemed to be getting colder and windier. When we arrived at the Cottonwood visitor center the ranger told us to see Joshua trees we should have entered from the north and gone to the visitor center there (now a couple hours away.) While we were there we read about Joshua trees. We learned that the Joshua tree is a member of the agave family. To be pollinated the Joshua tree must bloom and be visited by the yucca moth. The moth collects pollen while she is laying her eggs inside the flower. The moth needs the Joshua tree and the Joshua tree needs the moth. The ranger at the visitor center suggested we visit the Cottonwood Spring since it was so cold and windy. We walked to see the oasis which is created by a crack in the earth’s crust. There are faults under the park where the groundwater rises to the surface and creates an oasis. The water nourishes the vegetation and is a refuge from the desert extremes.
We hiked for several miles on the Lost Palm Oasis trail, but we were unprepared for the wind and cold and so we decided to call it a day and head back to the campground. Marcus, Caroline and I played candy bar bingo with about 20 other campers. The kids enjoyed swimming in the pool and playing on the playground. There was a cancellation so we decided two more nights.