Joshua Tree National Park – A Natural Wonderland

Many people think you must travel to corners of the earth, spend heaps of money and live this special life to find adventures and see beautiful things. Wrong! Beautiful places unfold before your very eyes if you only chose to open them. The United States covers almost 3.8 millions miles and is home to 58 National Parks. AND that’s just the National Parks! There are thousands upon thousands of gorgeous land that isn’t considered on that list that is worth exploring. In short- the United States of America is awesome. We live in a natural wonderland and most people don’t even realize it.

The Friday after Thanksgiving, Dave and I decided to opt outside rather than spend the days in the crowds of the malls. We were already in Orange County for the holiday so we headed east to Joshua Tree National Park. Per usual in Southern California, a bright blue sky laid out the track for our trek. The two-hour drive was quickly increased due to heavy traffic but we didn’t mind. For once, we didn’t feel rushed. We had no real plan for the day and were just set on seeing something new.

Dave eventually veered off the freeway and took us along the river front. Winding through the mountains, I traced the train tracks with my eyes, momentarily allowing my mind to wander back home. Train tracks always remind me of growing up in small town Minnesota, where the train would block entry to the town and frequently cause me to be late to my after school job at the Drug Store.

We took a left turn and found ourselves entering the mystical Joshua Tree National Park. We had driven down to the southwest entrance and had decided to spend the next few hours driving through the entire park and exiting on the north end.

Being a Holiday weekend, the park was busy with tourists, each trying to get lost in the magical world that has inspired so many before. With each mile, the park provided a different view. It was a world where Dr. Seuss seemed to come to life. It was magical; everywhere you looked there was unique plants, tree, skylines, rock formations and clouds. It didn’t seem that a places like this could be natural yet it was exactly that; a natural wonderland.

The desert is gorgeous. It gets the rep that it’s dead, flat and not worth visiting but I wholeheartedly disagree. The desert is unique and offers a natural beauty that is unlike anything else. The dry sprouts plants and trees that are rather stunning and quite a contrast from anywhere else. My eyes were taking mental photographs just as quickly as my finger was snapping on my camera. I wanted to remember each of these views forever.

Without trying, we had impeccable timing. Just as we were nearing the end of the Park, the sun was beginning to set. The sky was suddenly painted soft hues of blues, pinks and purples. Before our very eyes, the magical place that danced in front of us during the daytime transformed to a wondrous sight at sunset. The place where your childhood comes to life and imagination swirls before you was a one of a kind experience. Joshua Tree National Park lives up to the hype and is worth adding to your bucket list then promptly checking it off. We already cannot wait to go back and camp under a blanket of stars.

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