Friday, June 11, 2010

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree National Park
has been on our list of places to visit, and we finally made it. We drove through the park taking time to see the sights and the breath taking landscapes. We hiked a few miles and took both the Barker Dam Trail and the Lost Horse Mine Trail. At Keys View we got a fantastic view of the park and areas beyond. Our visit to the Cholla Cactus Gardens proved to be more exciting than we had anticipated. As we were walking the trail through the cactus garden a family with three young girls (approximate ages 4-8) arrived also. The mother and oldest daughter stayed in the parking lot (for the moment). The two youngest girls ran past us, through the CACTUS GARDEN - the youngest girl touching a cacti as she passed us and immediately started repeating the word "OUCH". The father was trying to keep them within sight - he was not successful. We heard the middle daughter yell as she got stuck in the butt and hip. The father made his way to her to get her off the cacti and remove the cacti quills. As he was doing this he told the youngest girl to go back to her mother in the parking lot. By this time we had made it back to the car and watched the little girl run off the trail and INTO THE CACTUS GARDEN! As soon as she ran off the trail she stepped on a baseball size cacti plant which stuck deep into her ankle. She stopped running, with a look of panic on her face. I motioned for her to stay put, grabbed a hand towel and quickly made my way to her. The mother also quickly got to her daughter. Remember the father was still trying to free the middle girl from a cacti. The mother held the youngest girl as I wrapped the towel around the cacti and attempted to remove it from her ankle, to get it out as quick as possible. That didn't work and only got me quills stuck in my finger tips. The father finally freed the middle girl and was racing to the aid of his youngest when he, too, stepped on 3 baseball size cacti which stuck in his foot and ankle. He slowly continued and made it to the mother, youngest daughter, and me. The cacti was lodged so deep in the little girls ankle the father thought it best to try and remove it by placing a small rock on each side, applying pressure, and pulling. This effort removed the cacti ball, less the quills stuck in her ankle which he then removed one by one. At this point the mother carried her daughter out of the cacti to the parking lot. The father then began the removal of the cacti balls stuck in HIS ANKLE & FOOT! We heard the father keep saying, "This was not a good idea, this was not a good idea.". We gave the couple some alcohol sanitizer to put on the wounds as it was the only first aid type stuff we had with us. The parents finally loaded all three girls in their car and left.
After our Cholla Cactus Gardens adventure we continued on. Check out the picture of Skull Rock. For all passing through southern California, this is a day trip you need to make to see Joshua Tree National Park.


Anonymous said...

I miss your comentary that goes along with the pictures Mom

Mom said...

I misss the description that you usually do