National Park #24: Joshua Tree, Day 2

Previous Day

Waking up, we headed down to the southern end of the park for a little hike.  We parked at Cottonwood Spring, at the trailhead of the Lost Palms Oasis Trail. (D)  It was a very comfortable hike in the rocky desert that pays off most notably at the end.  The numerous faults that cross the park have created all sorts of interesting rifts and canyons, exposing huge granite rocks.  This geologic activity has also created small havens where standing water and fan palms can be found.  The hike there was pretty quiet as far as wildlife was concerned (Phainopepla and Northern Mockingbird being the only sightings) but, the Lost Palms Oasis was a haven for wren.  Cactus, Canyon, and Rock Wren were all found darting among the dense vegetation.  I was very surprised at the size of the Cactus Wren, I thought it was some sort of woodpecker.

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Rock Wren

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Canyon Wren

After a couple days of rock climbing, birding, and hiking, Aly and I were quite pungent. Luckily, there were showers in town. We headed back to Fortynine Palms and enjoy every second that our 5-minute shower token bought us.  The sky was still clear and the air calm, making it a perfect night for a campfire.  After buying some sausage and veggies from the grocery store, we drove back to our site at the Indian Cove campground (C) with some firewood in tow.  The still air allowed for Aly and I to sit right next to the fire without getting smoked out.  As we cooked our dinner, we watched a couple fellow campers climb up a nearby boulder and perform some sort of acro-yoga display while a third filmed them.  Across the campground road, a dozen or so people in their 20’s appeared to be gathering for a winter climbing trip.  We continued to people-watch while we ate as the sun set and our fire slowly died.  We pulled our sleeping bags out of the tent and watched the moon until it was time to rest up for our final day in the park.

My eBird Checklist:

Lost Palms Oasis Trail

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