A Weekend in Joshua Tree

Sunday, December 11, 2016

After our Friendsgiving in LA, we drove out to Joshua Tree for the rest of the long weekend. We stayed in a cabin close to the park entrance.

Dinner on Friday evening was at Crossroads Cafe. It was packed! I liked the pulleys hanging by the window, so I did a quick sketch of the hungry crowd.

Crossroads Cafe Joshua Tree

There are few good options for fine dining in the immediate area of the park, which is surprising since Palm Springs is a good 45 minutes away and there is no concessionaire in the park itself. Note to self: If I ever have enough money to invest in restaurants.... :-)

The park was vast and beautiful, filled with joshua trees, cholla cacti, and massive boulders. We were surprised to have the landscape to ourselves for much of the time; we expected many more visitors given the holiday. Perhaps the chilly weather put off the climbers.

JT Hidden Valley

I was glad to have layers, a hat and gloves as we hiked in Hidden Valley.

JT rocks

The joshua trees had unique "personalities." Even the desert rock formations were picturesque, especially near Skull Rock. This one had a top that looked like E.T.!

Joshua Tree JT

We meandered down the remote Black Eagle Mine Road before the swiftly setting sun forced us to turn around. The watercolor on the bottom was done from our cabin window -- that was the view out back!

Black Eagle Mine Road

We drove all the way through the park and had dinner at the Purple Palm, at the Colony Palms Hotel in Palm Springs. The dining room boasted vintage decor, including tasseled drum shades and detailed wallpaper.

Purple Palms Colony Palms Hotel PS

In the morning I spied a jackrabbit in the yard so I sketched it while M. went on a bike ride. I don't know what it was eating, but it seemed very focused.

Jack rabbit

Unfortunately the wind was too intense for a second day's foray into the park, so we headed home. After some torrential rain as we neared LA, the skies cleared up again. And this happened:

I managed one final sketch during our molasses crawl northward on the I-5, of the intense post-storm light and thick clouds over the flat farmland.

Road home from LA

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