- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Visit Joshua Tree National Park
It was President Franklin D. Roosevelt who with the stroke of his pen made Joshua Tree a National Monument on August 10, 1936 (it became a National Park in 1994). However, those 825,000 acres (now: 792,510 acres) would never have been recognized as worth protecting had it not been for Minerva Hamilton Hoyt, a southern belle and unlikely activist from Mississippi, who lived in Pasadena with her surgeon husband.
The tree that is not a tree
The Joshua Tree is a misnomer it is not a tree, but the largest plant in the agave family. This gawky, spiky, evergreen grows predominately in the Mojave Desert (southwest California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona). The “tree” grows a few inches a year and can easily live to at least 150 years. This plant is a rare specimen that would not exist without an almost uncanny combination of seed pollination that is dependent on one particular variety of moth, perfectly timed rains and a good cold snap.
The rock formations are unbelievable
Over 1.7 billion years ago volcanic and tectonic activity began the creation of what is now Joshua Tree National Park. A little more recently, some 100+ million years ago, granite began forming from magma (molten liquid) that cooled beneath the earth’s crust and started cracking. This stone called Monzogranite is visible after millenniums of erosion; these formations that appear to be impossible stacks of boulders are a paradise for rock climbers.