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 > Chasing Wildflowers..Joshua Tree National Park, Ca.

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c.traveler2

Moreno Valley,Ca.

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Posted: 04/27/17 12:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Chasing Wildflowers
Joshua Tree National Park, Ca.

April 14, 2017
Yea, it was Easter weekend and we knew the campsites would be full but none the less we headed out for Joshua Tree NP anyways. Hopefully to catch some of the late season wildflowers for my camera. Traffic was flowing at a good clip and we soon arrived at Cottonwood Spring road exit on the I-10.
Stopping for our traditional photo at the park sign, the sky was clear and somewhat bluish. Some wildflowers were starting to show themselves off.

[image]

Motoring further up Cottonwood Spring Rd., I pulled into a turn out for there were some fine specimens of Ocotillos and other wildflowers.

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This roadside spot is a small bumper crop of wildflowers and plants.

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Our next stop was the visitor center; it was very busy with the Easter weekend crowd. I flashed my old geezer NP pass at the clerk and bought 2 new maps. Julie and I headed out on their little walking trail to take a look and photograph some bloom flowers.

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The wind had kicked up, taking clear photos was a problem but none the less I was able to take a good number of clear photos. Back to the TC and off to Black Eagle Mine Road, this was a area in which during our last trip here (few years back) we found some Desert Lilies and hope to find some more.

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This graded dirt road was fairly smooth, very little wash boarding. We would make stops as wildflowers were spied.

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Finding an insect on a flower/plant always adds to the photo.

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Moving on down the road as to say and soon halting for more photographing.

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By this time we’re almost 5 miles into Black Eagle Mine Road and spotted a few more gems of the desert.

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Julie found this Five Spot, not fully open but enough to see the spots. Plus this area abounded with Desert Lilies, 46 plants we counted!

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Julie was wandering around and called for me, she found a plant I really didn’t expect to see and it was the only one we did see during our entire adventure.

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Soon enough the park boundary gate came into view, they were open and beyond them laid the Eagle Mountain Mining District. Per our map another 4 miles of non maintain road was ahead before reaching the permanent locked gates.

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Rocky road is what is best to describe this section, passing by a mining operation up on the hill, the tailing poured out of the mine’s mouth.

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The road may have been rocky but it wasn’t long before end came, not at the locked gate but due to a rather large boulder in the road.

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I had to back down our TC to a place where people had camped out; there we had lunch before heading back to Pinto Basin road.

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On the way the same rocky road, we came across the first person we’ve seen we’ve been on this road.

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Sighting a second vehicle was just a short drive down the road.

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Not too long after the second vehicle sighting we are back at the Joshua NP boundary line. Once again campers in the past had spent the night here or maybe several nights.

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From our turn around point it was 2.1 miles back to the NP boundary line.
We saw one more vehicle about half way out, they warned us of an adult Desert Turtle in the road up ahead. We did see this turtle, careful in pasting it.

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Arriving back at Pinto Basin Road we headed for Amboy Crater for our overnight stay, all of Joshua NP campsites were full you know Easter Weekend. Other than the train coming by at night Amboy Crater is pretty quiet place to park for the night.

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Not much in the way of wildflowers were at Amboy crater, the big bumper crop happened in March.

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Morning brought a beautiful blue sky and after breakfast we headed for Kelso Dunes. Julie and I have never been there; north of the I40 on Kelbaker Road several stops were made.

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Kelso dunes straight ahead.

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At the Dunes

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A family was out there doing a pre-Easter egg hunt, they also brought along a Mongolian style tent.

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I was amazed at the variety of vegetation at Kelso Dunes.

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Julie and I made one last stop before heading to Barstow to meet a friend for dinner and that was Kelso Railroad Depot, again we have never been there. On the road leaving the dunes a juvenile turtle was crossing the road.

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It was a short stop at the depot.

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Thanks to everyone for reading my Trip Reports
c.traveler2

* This post was last edited 04/27/17 01:13pm by c.traveler2 *   View edit history


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Tiger4x4RV

Inland Empire, Southern California

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Posted: 04/27/17 02:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Two tortoises crossing roads...amazing. I have tried, but have never seen even one in the wild anywhere. Nice flowers, too. Thanks for sharing.


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K Mac

Lower Hudson Valley N.Y.

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Posted: 04/27/17 02:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice report, thanks for the ride along.

67avion

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Posted: 04/27/17 03:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We were there in mid March and it was amazing. Thanks for the report, I now know that the bloom went on and on. It was a once in a lifetime event...or so they say.





jefe 4x4

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Posted: 04/27/17 04:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good show, Alex. We were in separate deserts together during the Easter Holydays.
It gives you hope when you can see that many wild flowers. We saw quite a few, but all were at a specific elevation: 2K to 3K feet. The 'flower line' moves up from the desert floor in March to the final fling in late April to early May, depending.
jefe


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Two Hands

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Posted: 04/27/17 05:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Beautiful photos! Thanks for posting!


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sandblast

salt lake city utah

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Posted: 04/28/17 07:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

c.Traveler2

Great report and pics.
Thanks


Two Hands
We must encounter the same people!

billyray50

North Dallas

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Posted: 04/28/17 08:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great photos and trip report!

cewillis

Tucson, az, usa

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Posted: 04/28/17 09:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very nice pictures, Alex --thanks.


Cal


DWeikert

York, PA

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Posted: 04/28/17 10:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks like a successful chase. Thanks for documenting and bringing us along.


Dan
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