Hubby and I and our daughter and son-in-law all piled into my Honda CRV early Sunday morning for another visit to Joshua Tree National Park. Hubby and I had visited the park on Thursday, a beautiful, clear day here in the desert southwest. We entered through the Cottonwood Springs entrance and actually arrived before the visitor center opened, so we took some photos around that area before paying our entrance fee. Cottonwood Springs is on the eastern side of the park and like it's name implies, has many cottonwood trees among the palms. Both trees are there because of the San Andreas Fault, which runs along the valley. The cracks in the earth's surface allow the groundwater to come to the surface, thus cottonwoods and palms abound here. There is a long, sandy wash that you can walk along and view the cottonwoods. There are a lot of birds here and we could hear and see them. Hubby went off and followed a noisy crow who apparently did not enjoy our presence! Then we headed up through a smoke tree wash and took pics of the yellow wildflowers along the road. Next, we passed through the cholla garden and the ocotillo wash. We stopped at Jumbo Rocks and went exploring in four different directions. Next, out to Keyes Point for a view of the valley below. Jennifer and James (our daughter and son-in-law) spotted their housing development down in the valley. I could see the Thousand Palms road and the Indio Hills. The Salton Sea lies to the east of the park and although it was a bit hazy, we could also see it. We would LOVE to visit the park on a clear day after a rain and may try to do that this summer. Finally, we hiked up the short trail to Barker Dam. By that time, the kids were tired (not us "old folks") and wanted to get lunch, so we left the park. I would love to return late some afternoon and catch a nice sunset there! We will be returning to the park whenever we can. James mentioned that during August one year, while he was there, it hailed! The elevation at the park varies from about 2,000 feet to Keyes Point, which is over 5,000 feet. That's My World for Tuesday, April 13, 2010.