Crazy From the Heat

Crazy From the Heat

After driving in the desert all day, I’m pretty batty right now. I don’t want to even attempt to wax poetic about just how gorgeous you are, dear America. It is kind of unreal how much unearthly beauty lies within you. I’ll try a little with the few brain cells that have not turned themselves off.

It was beautiful day inside Joshua Tree National Park. Here are the namesake–the spiny Joshua Trees. They were named by Mormons settlers who thought they resembled Joshua reaching his hands to the sky in prayer. I guess I kind of see it? If Joshua was multi-limbed.

Though the trees were the star attraction, I had no idea they’d be almost upstaged by the rock formations.

There were lots of sexy, curvaceous rocks.

I saw an adorable jackrabbit around this formation. 

What planet were we on? Our beautiful Earth.

There were short trails around the most alluring rock formations… but it was too hot to take on. 

The Cholla Cactus in The Cholla Cactus Garden.

Very “thirsty” bees, which the park warned of with signage kind of run you away quickly. These yellow and black vampires can really dampen the fun in the park. They are so thirsty for moisture that they want to bask in park goer’s sweat. Swarms of bees were responsible for closing a campground in the park!

CP’s comparison with these rocks and the wet sand-dripped castles of youth was spot on.

We scenically conquered what we wanted to at Joshua Tree National Park, so it was time for breakfast and, finally, some coffee. And a hearty breakfast at Crossroads Cafe set us up for the rest of the grueling day in the hot, hot heat. 

The pesto tofu scramble with their housemade soy chorizo and avocado… and home fries. Absolute perfection. I was kind of blowed away with how delicious this plate was. 

CP’s breakfast was a potato quesadilla with black beans, pico de gallo and a slaw. I heard it was equally delicious.

Then, nearing Death Valley, the Amargosa Opera House. Closed unfortunately. It has a very interesting history that you’ll look into if you’re bored one day.

Uh-oh.

Yes, it was 124 degrees F when we visited Death Valley National Park. We did not make it out of the car very long. It was an oppressive heat I had never felt before. 
But there were great views in the park… 

We weren’t the only kooks at Zabriskie Point. There is a short trail up to a viewing point pictured here. I don’t know that the view from the higher vantage point at the end of the trail merits the walk. I was more impressed with how many were trekking up the path in the heat. Pictured here is the small parking lot and some others on the trail heading back down to their cars.

On our way through the colors of Artist’s Palette, a must see. 

This patina green was my favorite color in the rocks. The colors are the result of what else? That sun… and the different minerals in the rocks. 

This place is called the Devil’s Golf Course, named after a line in a 1934 park guide book: Only the devil could play golf on its surface. The area used to be a lake, Lake Manly, but was evaporated… and then some. Depths of the this newer salty formation is up to 9,000 feet. 

Art & the Devil

After leaving Death Valley National Park, we had a four hour drive to Bakersfield, California. It was a drive that never stopped with varied scenic beauty. Then we saw several instances of Cloud iridescence, a kind of cloud rainbow which I tried to capture with the camera with varied results. We also drove though some very interesting tweaker-towns.

With the smears of the windshield…

Then the light show, sunset, illuminating vivid color all over the mountains. Majestic purple mountains. Oh, America… 

It was a long day in the heat and in the beauty. More tomorrow…