Joshua Tree Again

With Joshua Tree National Monument so close to the Inland Empire, it is easy to ride through the park two or three times a year. A good 260-mile excuse for a group to ride for a few hours.

This time the group met in San Bernardino, rode I-10 to Palm Springs, then to Hutchins Route 62 Cafe via Indian Avenue. The wind through the San Gorgonio Pass was relatively still, barely turning the blades of hundreds of white wind generators. The air is rarely calm through the pass.

The bush above was a type we hadn’t seen in bloom on other rides through Joshua Tree. We looked at the blooms. Even Mike Harmon, who often knows such things, couldn’t identify it.

Back home, a bit of research turned up the plant, Isomeris Arborea. The common name for the plant is Bladder Pod. I wouldn’t hang a name like that on it. I’d name it Desert Pea.

After a series of late January rainstorms, plant life in the desert takes advantage of  the extra moisture. The Ocotillo, in particular flourshes after periods of rainfall, first sprouting leaves on its skeletal stalk-like trunks, then blooming.

Rock Climbers are frequently spotted near a convenient parking area in the north end of the park.

Nearby campsites provide a a base for rock climbers.

A black and chrome Road Star belonging to Danny Underwood sits poised to get back on the road.

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