We headed from San Diego to Joshua Tree National Park with excitement. What a crazy place and we fell in love with it instantly! Being in the Joshua Tree National Park makes you feel as though you are a character in a Dr Seuss book (like The Lorax) as the scenery was unlike anything we had ever experience in New Zealand. There were rocky mountains, funny shaped Joshua Trees and sparse desert.
We originally planned to camp in Belle Campground however it was closed for the summer. Instead we camped at the $10 a night Jumbo Rocks campsite which was just as stunning. It turned out great as we were able to get an awesome campsite right under some beautiful jumbo rocks which were perfect for exploring. We were a bit apprehensive climbing through the rocks and desert as one of the things you need to be aware of is rattlesnakes but luckily we didn’t come across any.
Early afternoon a park ranger came and warned us that there may be flash flooding during the night and that there was the chance that we would be woken up and evacuated. Luckily the storm passed over and nothing eventuated. However, it did teach us that the environment in the desert can change in an instant and you always need to be prepared.
Because the rain passed we were able to see the stars and moon. The night sky in the desert is absolutely spectacular as you can see from Bryce’s awesome night time photography included in the pictures below.
We only spent one night at Joshua Tree but it was a day and night to be remember. The landscape was so different but so beautiful. We hope the photos give you an insight into what we experience.
From Joshua Tree National Park we headed to the city that never sleeps – Las Vegas. We got a good deal at the Bellagio so got to stay in luxury for a couple of nights. Lots of shiny lights, lots of drinks and lots of relaxing – I think that is all we can remember about Las Vegas! Heaps of fun and we want to come back again in the future. The good thing is I am still Miss Janssen although we were tempted to get married by Elvis.
On one of our days in Las Vegas we decided to take a bus tour to see the Grand Canyon. It was a 10 hour return trip but it was something we really wanted to see. On our arrival it was raining and we couldn’t see a thing but just as the bus was about to leave the sun came out. So the driver let us all off to take in the awesome view and to take a few pic’s. We were very grateful to the driver as it meant his tour got back late. So the 10 hour’s in the bus was worth it in the end! On the way back we also got to see the Hoover Dam lit up – what a fantastic sight!
We have now travelled even further into the desert to Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon and Monument Valley – IT IS HOT but more on that soon.