Tuesday, July 28, 2009

ON TRAVEL ~ The Joshua Tree...

Today's post is brought to you by Patty of This Desert Life {in photos} who is here to add one more place to our never-ending travel wish list...

When I got the email from The Bumbles asking me to be a Guest Blogger while they were on vacation, I was honored to be invited. And then I got really nervous. I have never been a Guest Blogger. What would I write about? What pictures would I share? Would the readers of The Bumbles blog like what I have to say?

Once I got over myself and my fears, I decided to do some research on The Bumbles. Molly is the avid photographer of this blogging duo. As for Andy, I got the impression that he was a sports fanatic. Must have been the story about their Honeymoon trip that clued me in.

The other thing I noticed is that they both like to travel. Have you noticed their travel wish list in the right column? That’s quite a list. Many places they have already traveled to. Some they have not but I have, like Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Grand Canyon, and Bryce Canyon to name a few.

I also noticed one place that was not on their list. Joshua Tree National Park. How could they not want to visit this hidden desert jewel once made famous by the band U2! So I have decided to use this opportunity as a Guest Blogger to entice The Bumbles to add Joshua Tree National Park (CA) to their travel wish list.

To avoid a miserable trip to Joshua Tree National Park, better known to locals as JTNP, you will want to plan your trip for late September to November or March to late June. Come any other time and it will either be too hot (its 101 degrees this evening as I write) or a bit on the chilly side.

Next you will need a place to stay. There are a few national hotel chains along the main highway. Or perhaps a secluded desert bed and breakfast is more your style. I had planned on writing about the Joshua Tree Inn since I was there once but they found it “strange” that I wanted to write about their business and share my photographs of their Inn on the blogoshere.

Or perhaps you are an outdoorsy type person, in that case, there is camping within JTNP. We went camping one weekend at Hidden Valley Campground when our son was about 7 weeks old late September 2003.

Now that you're here what are you going to do? For all you early risers, might I suggest a hike? There are many to choose from from beginners to strenuous, paved and wheelchair accessible. For the adventurous souls there is rock climbing. I haven’t done any rock climbing since I was young and fearless.

If you are into history then I suggest you sign up for a guided tour of Keys Ranch. William Keys was one of the original homesteaders in the area and his diggs are still standing today. There’s old machinery,a school house in the distance and a collection of old glass bottles on a table that I never fully understood.

Just around the bend is Barker Dam. When I was last there, the beginning of June, it was completely dried up. I have been there at times when there was lots of water backed up.

After a long day of hiking and seeing the sights in JTNP, its time to relax and find some grub. Five miles outside the West Entrance to JTNP, you will find a few local favorites. There is the Park Rock Cafe (which is next to the JTNP Visitors Center) for sandwiches, or one of my personal favorites (met hubby here on our first date) is Crossroads Cafe & Tavern. And if you're looking for a local watering hole, there is but one in this village, it's called the Joshua Tree Salon.

Well there you have the highlights of Joshua Tree National Park. I hope that you will journey to our desert oasis someday. And I want to extend a big “Thank You” to The Bumbles for allowing me to be a Guest Blogger while they travel.

Visit Patty's incredible photography on her blog here - she's for hire too!


Sandy Nawrot said...

I'm convinced! I've never been, but this type of place is right up my alley!

Deanna said...

I think you did a fantastic job as guest host! And quite a convincing travel agent, too! Love the picture with the snow!

siteseer said...

You did a great job as a 'fill-in'. Does this mean that you get the award on my site? :) Have fun with it.