My trip to Palm Springs was 4 days (although the first day was really just getting there in the evening and having dinner) and for the first 3 days we were pretty much just in Palm Springs. But for the last day, my mom really wanted us to go to Joshua Tree and I’m always happy to follow her plans and was excited to end my trip on a fun adventure.
According to my mom, I was at Joshua Tree when I was 7 and when I was 10 but I really don’t remember those trips (and my mom had limited memories and stories from those trips). So in some way, this felt like the first time that I was there. It was about 45 minutes to drive there and after stopping at the visitor center to get a parking pass we were on our way to our first stop.
We wanted to go to a lookout point to see a nice view of the area. And it happened to rain the night before so it was so clear out!
And it was freezing out! It was about 38 degrees outside and while it felt nice in the sun, whenever the wind kicked up it was pretty cold! But my mom and I still took an opportunity to take a photo together since I realized we didn’t have any photos together yet on the trip.
When we were in the car to drive to our next stop, I realized that the photo of my mom and I reminded me of another photo of us. So I found that photo in the cloud and put them together.
The top photo was from when my mom and I were in Paris in January 2005 to celebrate my college graduation. It’s so crazy to think that the top photo is 13 years older than the bottom photo! And I don’t think that we look 13 years older either.
Our next stop was to do a hike around Skull Rock. The hike was about 2 miles and it started at a campground. We were walking to the hike and we already were seeing amazing views of the Joshua Trees all over.
Once we were off the paved road and onto the sand/dirt trail, I’ll admit the hike got tough for me. There was a lot of going up and down which is tough on my hips. But being on an unstable ground was even worse and I was hurting a lot. I tried to limit how many breaks I took but fortunately my mom and her friend were understanding and they didn’t mind stopping when I needed to. But even when we were stopped, we always had something amazing to look at.
We noticed a rainstorm and some ominous looking clouds while we were hiking, but they never reached us. So having those clouds just made the view look even better!
When we got back to the car, we drove to a picnic area to have a quick snack before heading to our final stop in Joshua Tree. My mom was so excited to see the Cholla Garden and once we were there I was so impressed by it!
It was crazy to see these fuzzy looking cacti all over when we didn’t really see them that many other places. They do look like they are teddy bears and would be soft to touch. I’m guessing a lot of people have tried to touch them because there was a first aid kit in the parking lot of the garden in case someone got stuck. I was just careful since there wasn’t that much separation from the cacti and the path we walked on. And there were little broken off pieces very close to the trail and I don’t think my shoes would have protected me much if I accidentally stepped on one.
After that stop, we got back into the car and did the drive back to Palm Springs to go back to the rental house. We had a little time to rest before we all headed out to downtown Palm Springs for dinner. It was getting colder out, but the place we went to had a heated patio so we were able to eat outside and enjoy the people watching on the main street of the downtown area.
After dinner, I quickly got my stuff packed up so I could head home. Originally I wasn’t going to head back until the next day, but I realized that I could avoid traffic (and not miss another day of work) if I went home that night. I think my mom preferred to know I wasn’t going to deal with traffic, plus she still had her friend with her so I didn’t feel like I was ditching her. I said goodbye and thanks to my mom and headed back to LA.
I’m so glad that my mom invites me to travel with her. I really couldn’t afford it without her right now and she really is one of my best travel buddies. We are already talking about a potential trip for next year (we are thinking maybe a spa vacation) so I’m getting excited to start the planning for that!