Vegas to the Sea

Trip Start Apr 20, 2012
Trip End Sep 01, 2012

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What I did
Joshua Tree National Park

Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, June 9, 2012

Before bed, and after our last blog entry, we took the kids for a drive down "The Strip" in Las Vegas and they were thrilled with the buzz, the vibe and the general neon energy of the place. They wanted to get out and look, but we tried to explain that Las Vegas was not really a kid friendly town! The highlight was watching a set of fountains and jets of water that were out front of one of the main casinos which were coordinated with some classical music. It was great fun and such a unique place!
 We had a nice night's sleep, sleeping right next to the air conditioner which was kept on full blast for the entire night. We were all up early and Odie was loaded and we were out the door by 8am as we had a 6 hour drive to San Diego and were planning on detouring and heading through Joshua Tree National Park. It was a simple drive towards Joshua Tree and the only hiccup was the fact that the little town just over the border into California where we had hoped to buy gasoline had no gas station!!! It ended up to be a minor blip in the plan, as we had to track about 30 miles out of our way in order to find a guaranteed gas station in Searchlight, Nevada. But, we made it and with Odie fueled up, we were on our way to Joshua Tree.
Joshua Tree National Park is right at the junction of two deserts: The Mojave Desert which is the smallest desert in North America and is at an average elevation of 2000 feet, and the Colorado Desert which is a part of the Sonoran Desert and is much lower, hotter and drier. Joshua Trees, after which the park is named, are tree size yucca-type plants which populate the plains and slopes of the higher elevations of the park. They are surrounded by rounded piles of boulders, cliffs and rocks which provide a magnificent backdrop to the Joshua Trees. It was certainly a photographic paradise and was a treat to see. We did think about the contrast between the lower Desert we had seen which was full of the Saguaro Cacti and now the Joshua Trees; we are lucky to see such diversity. However, it was still stinking hot and we made tracks out of there and south to San Diego just after lunch.
We then went straight South and despite passing through Palm Springs which was heavily populated with solar panels and windmills, the drive was uneventful. We made it to San Diego, loaded up with food at our local, friendly Trader Joe's and checked in to our hotel. We hauled all of our stuff to the back of the building, up some stairs and around a couple corners and into our suite. However, we quickly noticed the unmade bed, the dirty dishes in the sink, the dirty towels on the floor and..... So, despite not typically being the complaining type, Tim went to the office and complained, and we were promptly redirected to a larger room with two queen beds. Unfortunately, we had to go back around the two corners, down a flight of stairs, up another flight of stairs and around a corner to access our new room. But, it is huge, spacious and comfortable, a great base for the next few nights and our exploration of San Diego which commences tomorrow.
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