Wednesday, December 31, 2008

california blogging: snow in the desert, snowy cacti and palm trees included

Perhaps you may have heard that there was snow in Vegas over the holidays. It does happen. The last time I went to Vegas, we were driving down the 15 and there were small piles of snow on the side of the road. When most people think of the desert, they think of heat. But really, the desert is all about extremes. Temperatures can drop at night and when you get lots of precipitation (like what southern California received the week I was home), you get snow. Even in the desert.

Having never seen the California desert, Jesse wanted to go. And I like to show him something new every time we visit California. And because he's into National Parks, we set out to visit Joshua Tree National Park. It's right smack in the middle of the desert, surrounded by mountain ranges, and full of Joshua Trees. And the snow made it even more awesome!

Hard to believe this is the desert, huh?
desert sun

That thing standing on the right is a Joshua Tree (Jesse's on the left)
jesse and the joshua tree

While Joshua Tree had mammoth, regular looking mountains, it also had these types of "mountains" that looked like large piles of huge boulders.
the road to nowhere?

cold snow mountain?

Here's a cactus in the snow (in case you don't believe we were in the desert)
a cactus in the snow

This is the view from Keys View, one of the highest points in Joshua Tree
hazy shade of winter

This was taken in the Cholla Cactus Garden, which was snow free, but the mountain range behind it wasn't.
cholla cacti under the setting sun

Here's Jesse attempting to 'eat' a Cholla.
jesse tries to eat the cholla

We checked out Cottonwood Springs, which was supposed to be the oasis in the desert. While we didn't find the water, we did find quite a tropical atmosphere...
the palms of cottonwood springs

Which was kinda marred by all the snow
a palm in the snow

Jesse and I both fell in love with Joshua Tree, actually. Not sure if it would be as pretty without all the snow.
jesse and me at keys view

The whole lot of photos can be found here, if you're interested.

And on that note, Happy New Year, blog peeps! I'll be back on Friday with the first post of the new year, FUN, FRISKY FELINES!

I have this strange feeling 2009 could be awesome! Let's all hope so.


Zandria said...

When I lived in California for a year, I was in the high desert in northern L.A. county. Definitely a place of extremes in temperature -- hot in summer but it could also get extremely cold in winter.

The pic of the cactus in the snow is pretty crazy!

LiLu said...

Oh, those pictures are gorgeous. What a wonderful and different way to spend the holidays!

Bilbo said...

Great pictures! I've been to Las Vegas twice, and it was hotter than a two-dollar pistol both times. Hard to believe they had snow...I know it can get bitterly cold in the high desert, but this is ridiculous!

instatick said...

Wow - absolutely beautiful. I want to go there. Now.