49 Palms Oasis

A moderate, potentially very hot, 1.5 mile up and down hike through red barrel cactus, and loads of Joshua Tree rocks. Some of those were artfully arrainged by a talented hiker, our spirit skull visiting us after an adventure in Death Valley. The oasis is shocking to see amidst the barren, arid surroundings. An upwelling of water from deep in the earth finds it’s way to the surface of this narrow, steep canyon, through faults in the crust. A home for many California Fan Palms, way more than 49 I think. Not sure, didn’t really count them…so there’s that. The Cali Fan Palm is the only palm species native to California. It’s fronds grow and die, then create a skirt of fronds which become home to many little critters and birds. While we idled in the shade by the oasis’s ponds, we saw life that had been mostly absent from our trek through Death Valley and most of Joshua Tree. Hummingbirds, all sorts of water-skeeters and other bugs, and scurrying furry things that we never saw, but were pretty sure were there.

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