Joshua Tree/SoCal Trip – Part IV – Lost Horse Mine

Sunday, 26 April 2009 (continued from here):

After a light breakfast we drove into Joshua Tree National Park and headed to the trailhead for the Lost Horse Mine.  We hit the trail at 8:45 with only one other car in the parking area – sweet!

The trail angled through some Joshua Tree woodland before becoming more chaparral’y.  A pair of hikers, presumably from the other car in the lot, passed us the other way, and as far as we could tell we had the trail to ourselves.

Trail by you.

Lost Horse Mine Trail

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Joshua Tree/Socal Trip – Part III – Oasis of Mara, Noah Purifoy, Key’s View, Cap Rock

Saturday, 25 April 2009 (continued from here):

After our hike to Twentynine Palms Oasis, we drove to the town of the same name to check out the main Joshua Tree National Park visitor’s center, and the adjacent Oasis of Mara.

Oasis of Mara by you.

Oasis of Mara

The visitor’s center was surprisingly devoid of interpretive displays, and after picking up a book on cacti & a book on desert wildflowers, we walked around the paved trail to the Oasis of Mara.

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Joshua Tree/SoCal Trip – Part II – Twentynine Palms Oasis

Saturday, 25 April 2009 (continued from here)

We drove ~20 minutes from our house to Twentynine Palms, then up a road for a few miles until it ended at the trailhead for the Twentynine Palms Oasis trail.  We hit the trail at 8:05, just behind a large’ish group of hikers, so we started slow to let them get well ahead of us.  I was slightly annoyed that I had failed to check that I had this region loaded into my GPS, so although it provided hike stats, I had no map to look at, oops!

Trailhead by you.

Hikers on the Twentynine Palms Oasis Trail

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Joshua Tree/SoCal Trip – Part I – Getting there, settling in

Friday, April 24 2009:

We left home early, encountering no traffic at all getting out of the bay area, and drove the long’ish slog down I-5 to Bakersfield.  Fortunately the drive to this part of California is “only” a couple hundred miles on mind-numbing I-5, rather than the full many-hours-long epic to get to LA, and after a quick lunch at Foster’s Freeze in Bakersfield, the drive was interesting enough as we drove through Tehachapi, and through the desert on Hwy 58 past Mojave and through Boron.  We stopped to browse a funky antique shop at Kramer Junction, then continued to Barstow and from there headed south on 2-lane Hwy 247.

Hwy 247 went through some pretty high desert, and some very depressed-looking communities, especially Lucerne Valley, and ended at Twentynine Palms Hwy AKA Hwy 62, in Yucca Valley, a charmless and endless strip mall.   We noted a couple of grocery stores for future reference, and continued east to the town of Joshua Tree, which was considerably more enticing than Yucca Valley (a good thing, as we were staying there!).  A few miles up the road to Joshua Tree National Park brought us to our rental house, a short 500 miles and 9 hours drive from home.

Beavertail Cactus by you.

Beavertail Cactus (Opuntia basilaris)

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Last update from Prague

Today is our last day in Prague; We fly home early tomorrow morning. Although I’m sad to be leaving, I miss our cats and comfy bed!

Here is one final set of iPhone photos from the past few days:

Prague teaser

Dobry den z’Praha! We’re having a great time here, especially since Sarah joined me on Friday. Loads of walking, wonderful sights, & food adventures galore! With all the walking, the dreaded sandals with socks look that is oh so German (& Czech) is starting to look like a good idea, ahhhhhh! I haven’t had any…

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To Prague!

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons I head to Prague today for 5 days of business and 7 days of vacation, with Sarah flying out in a week after the business part of the trip is over.  We’re excited to visit this historical capital – I’ve been hoping to be sent here for work for some…

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