Birthday Photo Tour: Day 1.

So Saturday was my birthday (fifty-one and still having fun!).  So I bought myself a new (fairly inexpensive) camera and I wanted to see how it would do.  The first stop was Joshua Tree National Park.  This is a great place to visit.  However, there was trouble on the horizon…. (insert ominous music here).

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At the main entrance, there we started our journey.

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Of course, you have to take some images of the Joshua Trees.

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Dark clouds!!!!

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Big rock (and dark clouds!!!)

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Great tree at one of the hiking trail heads.

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On the way to Keys View, a look back at the park shows …..  RAIN!!!!

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Clouds about to rain on my parade (and birthday…Nooooooo!)

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At the parking lot of Key’s View.  From here you can see Mt. San Jacinto (covered by clouds) and the San Andreas fault.

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You can also see the entire Cochella valley from the same spot.

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On the trail head to Baker Dam.

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Find the frogs!!! On the trail to Baker Dam, there were thousands of desert toads that had just hatched due to the rain fall.  Can you spot the two in these pictures?

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Hard to see but the black toad is right above the plant and the white toad looks like a pebble next to the rock.

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Rock formations on the trail.  I thought this branch was interesting.

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But it turned out to be much more interesting from this view.  At first we thought this was the dam.

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Turns out that this is the actual dam.  A couple of fellow hikers from Austria (in Europe [they wrote that on their car so no one would say G’day Mate]).

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Next to the dam was an interesting rock formation.  Another view of the dam as you continue on the trail (which, by the way, is not marked very well).

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A view back from the dam into the meadow.

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Not sure what this is, but it looks like a cistern or a catch basin for the water from the dam.  Perhaps for the cattle to drink from.  The other side of the dam.

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I took a picture here, because it was interesting and because this is where our phones went of with flash flood warnings from the National Weather Service.  Nothing like hiking to a dam on water eroded paths to make you feel safe with a flash flood warning!

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The entrance to a cave with petroglyphs.

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More photos of the petroglyphs.

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Took this picture when I got my second NWS flash flood warning.  Luckily it was at the end of the trail…and the end of my time in Joshua Tree.  I don’t like to tempt the flash flood people too much.  Besides all this hiking about made me hungry.

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So ended my first day photo tour.  Tomorrow…high atop Mt. San Jacinto!

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

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