After two months in Arizona, we finally crossed the border into California. Our first stop was Joshua Tree National Park and surround area. We found a decent boon docking site right outside the southern entrance to the national park and decided to call this home for ten days.
For our first week in the area, we visited Joshua Tree National Park twice. Both times we chose to do pet friendly activities, so that we could include Ame in the adventure. One day we drove along the park’s main road, stopping at many highlights, including Cholla Cactus Garden and Keys View. We also drove along the 16 mile Geology Scenic Tour. We really enjoyed the geology drive because of vast views of perfect rock formations and boulders. The drive to Keys View had the largest concentration of joshua trees, which a form of yucca tree.
For our second day in the park, Andrew wanted to try one of the 4wd trails. We started along the Pinkham Canyon trail, which winds through the canyon. Further into our drive, we manage to turn off on the Thermal Canyon trail. This drive had some great views of the distance mountain ranges and Salton Sea.
Curious about Salton Sea, Andrew, Ame and I visiting the area. Salton Sea, which is a large lake with an extremely high levels of saline, was an odd juxtaposition of old/desperate attempt at resort area, with old abandon buildings and several beach pull offs, and agricultural haven for citrus trees. We stopped by Salton Sea State Recreation Area to take in the wildlife (which turned out to be a few birds and dead fish, since the saline amounts are toxic to most fish) and views. Mostly, the sea left us uninspired, but we were happy to be out enjoying a sunny, palm tree day, while so many we know were snow in.
Lastly, wanting to beat the Valentine’s day madness and the art festival crowds, Andrew, Ame and I popped down to Palm Springs for lunch on Thursday. I carefully searched for a restaurant that was dog friendly and found, Jake’s. This local establishment is named after the owner’s dog, who frequents the restaurant. After we enjoyed a tasty lunch, drinks and dessert out on their patio, we headed over to the dog park for a little exercise.
Overall, our first week was filled with picturesque sunset, delightful day trips, and many games of fetch with Ame.