Posted by: harleyhawk43 | March 21, 2016

Joshua Tree National Park


Well, on Tuesday March 15 we finally began our annual trek out of the deep southwest area and towards higher altitude and longitude climes. We were held up in Winterhaven CA for several days while we waited for some critical mail (a shipment of our new book, “Hawk and Red Fox-Modern Day Gypsies”, Volume Two).

(To order, go to-

http://www.nstarsolutions.com/store/home.php?provider=harleyhawk

Anyway, we were on our way, but really not on our way, because we had to go to downtown Yuma to get our toilet flush mechanism fixed, which had failed a couple of days previously. Fortunately it was a quick and easy fix and we were on our way before noon. Since we only had to cover about 150 miles, it was not an issue.

Our destination was Joshua Tree National Park, located in Eastern CA, near the Nevada border. This is one of three of what I will call desert national parks. They run from south to north in Eastern CA and are Joshua Tree, Mojave National Preserve and Death Valley National Park. They all begin to get rather hot this time of year, so one must get there usually by February to be guaranteed reasonable temperatures. Mojave is at a higher altitude, so it doesn’t get as hot as fast as the other two.

SAM_3190SAM_3189

Why were we at Joshua Tree? Several reasons-

  1. We had never been there before
  2. It was highly recommended by several friends
  3. It was a national park and therefore only $6 per night
  4. Red Fox needed to go to visit her family one more time before we headed East and J.T. is only 150 miles from them.

What we did not know is that there are very few camp sites that can accommodate our rig and we quickly had to modify our camping plan. This was easy, because as we approached the south entrance of J.T., we had noticed several rigs parked out in the desert, outside of the park. Inquiring inside the park, at the information center, we learned that this was Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land and had free camping.

***********************************************************************(Hawk and Karen’s two books are available at http://www.nstarsolutions.com/store/home.php?provider=harleyhawk)

363 Full color pictures!

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So, we were soon back outside the park, driving into the BLM area. We elected to park as close to the macadam entry road as possible, since we knew we would be unloading the Harleys, and wanted as little driving on hard packed sand as was possible.

You might be asking why the camping here is free. The answer is simple. There are no facilities whatsoever. No restrooms, no electricity, no water, no dump stations. We weren’t worried though. Our generators were filled with gas and we had 3 more containers in the pickup. Our propane tanks were full and we took on 40 gallons of water in the park. We had dumped our sewer tanks when we left Winterhaven/Imperial Dam. Additionally we had another 20 gallons of water in containers in the truck. In short, we were good for about 10 to 12 days.

IMG_20160315_184526_217

(The view out our side window)

***********************************************************************(Hawk and Karen’s two books are available at http://www.nstarsolutions.com/store/home.php?provider=harleyhawk)

***********************************************************************

Soon we had everything set up, including the unloading of the Harleys and we were ready to explore the park and surrounding areas.

At this point, you may be wondering what a Joshua Tree is and why a park would be named for it.

Here is a brief wikipedia summary-

Yucca brevifolia is a plant species belonging to the genus Yucca. It is tree-like in habit, which is reflected in its common names: Joshua tree, yucca palm, tree yucca, and palm tree yucca.[2][3][4][5]

This monocotyledonous tree is native to southwestern North America in the states of California, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada, where it is confined mostly to the Mojave Desert between 400 and 1,800 m (1,300 and 5,900 ft) elevation. It thrives in the open grasslands of Queen Valley and Lost Horse Valley in Joshua Tree National Park. A dense Joshua tree forest also exists in Mojave National Preserve, in the area of Cima Dome.

Joshua trees are fast growers for the desert; new seedlings may grow at an average rate of 7.6 cm (3.0 in) per year in their first ten years, then only about 3.8 cm (1.5 in) per year.[15] The trunk consists of thousands of small fibers and lacks annual growth rings, making it difficult to determine the tree’s age. This tree has a top-heavy branch system, but also what has been described as a “deep and extensive” root system, with roots reaching up to 11 m (36 ft).[2] If it survives the rigors of the desert, it can live for hundreds of years; some specimens survive a thousand years. The tallest trees reach about 15 m (49 ft). New plants can grow from seed, but in some populations, new stems grow from underground rhizomes that spread out around the parent tree.

Google Joshua Trees if you want more extensive information.

Here is a picture of one-

Joshua_Tree_01

We took several video clips of them from the motorcycles and I will post those later.

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(Hawk and Karen’s two books are available at http://www.nstarsolutions.com/store/home.php?provider=harleyhawk)

Order both books and get a free DVD of your choice. The DVD will show the “Kids” riding their “Wild Hogs” at a fabulous National Park. Choose from Bear Tooth Highway or Zion.

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Here are some photos of our campsite and the surrounding desert scenery. We are about 150 miles east of L.A. here and you would never know it.

We will be here for about 12 days. We arrived on the 15th of March and will leave right after Easter. In the next blog, we will show a ride we went on through the Joshua Tree Forest and a hike to the Fan Palm Oasis.

***********************************************************************(Hawk and Karen’s two books are available at http://www.nstarsolutions.com/store/home.php?provider=harleyhawk)

When you get to that site, register with a user name and password and you will be ready to order. For more details on our books, go to Hawk’s Books Facebook Page or to Amazon.

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Thanks,

Hawk and Red Fox-Six years on the road


Responses

  1. Hello Hawk,

    Good job wearing your Irish green 🙂

    Ha…we had to replace both our toilet flush mechanisms this week! A leak in our tenant’s toilet was costing us much green (NYC bills for water usage).

    Safe travels!

    Dave

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • Lots of fun! Flush mechanisms! Thanks for following. On Mar 22, 2016 4:51 AM, “Hawk and Karen's Blog” wrote:

      >


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