This past week I've been traveling for work and got to trade frigid snowy weather for sunny California skies! I love traveling and since I have a food blog I sometimes follow up with a post about my favorite food spots (check out a few including NYC, Cincinnati, and Disney World). Sadly this trip was mainly airport and hotel conference food. We did eat at a couple local restaurants, but I just had some dental work and couldn't fully appreciate the cuisine. It's a bummer to not get to eat homemade tortilla chips and salsa at an authentic Mexican restaurant!
Instead of a food summary, I decided to share pictures from our tour of Joshua Tree National Park. Most my time in California was spent in hotel conference rooms, but my co-workers and I came in a day early to do a little site seeing before the conference began. My boss had noticed we would be near Joshua Tree National Park, so we decided to explore the area. I wasn't quite expecting how massive and beautiful the park would be, if you are ever in that part of California you have to check it out!
While visiting the park, we encountered two things you don't typically see: rain in the desert and snow in southern California. Hearing from the locals, both are pretty rare! We didn't let the cold (well cold for southern California), rain, and snow slow us down. We spent hours venturing through the park, taking pictures out in the rain, and hiking. My fitness band said we walked almost 12,000 steps in the park - it was a welcomed change after a previous day full of sitting around on planes and at the airport.
If you are unfamiliar with the park, you can read more about it here. The park contains two distinct environments, as you progress through the park you can see the gradual change from the Mojave desert to the Colorado desert. We didn't see any wildlife other than birds, but I was fine with not running into any snakes! The park contains Joshua trees, ocotillo plants, chollo cactus plants, large rocks and boulders, beautiful landscapes, and majestic mountains. It's hard to explain the beauty of the park, so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Ocotillo plants in the park
Cholla Cactus Garden
See - it does snow in Southern California! Of course this was in a higher elevation area.
You may have noticed there aren't actually many pictures of Joshua trees... We spent more of our time in the part of the park that doesn't contain the trees. It started raining harder when we got to that area so we missed some opportunities to take pictures of the Joshua tree forest. I guess that just means I need to go back some time!