Seeing a Joshua Tree has been on my list of things to do for about 10 years. My friend Megan Wallace told me about the National Park and I got the idea in my head I needed to see it. So when Sister suggested it as a location for Art Retreat, I jumped on it.
We have been to many National Parks over the years. This one seemed more accessible than many I have visited. All levels of hiking available - and especially for art retreaters who just want to get a few hours in and then head home. AND no long drive to reach the park from the town of Joshua Tree.
Joshua trees sort of look like a cactus, but in fact are a member of the agave family. They are so cool to look at and apparently were named by the Mormons who felt they looked like the prophet Joshua guiding them to the promised land. My source for this information is Mary Ann Moss.
There are also different kinds of cactus and amazing rock formations. Perfect for climbing. If you are into that sort of thing. And your knees will hold up.
When we left the park we stopped at The Crossroads Cafe for breakfast. Interesting people, unique menu items, excellent coffee.
I can recommend the poached eggs accompanied by black beans and grilled polenta topped with feta cheese on the side. Sigh. Then, as if it couldn't get any better, when we walked out, there was a farmers market going on. Complete with cute kids, friendly vendors, beautiful baskets, and a cowboy or two.
After purchasing a few necessary items, we headed back to Art Retreat headquarters, where the collected specimens were laid out for painting and Pam showed me the Christmas quilts she made for her family. Oh. They were special. Pam has a gift for combining colors and patterns in a way that is uniquely her own.
I was so overcome by them I babbled something to Mary Ann about making one for her next year for Christmas. Which I suppose could happen.